NASCAR in the Desert - Phoenix

NASCAR Returns to Phoenix, along with Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer

3/1/13 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Blog Photo - NASCAR in the Desert - PhoenixIf you don't understand the headline above, then you didn't watch the Phoenix Chase Race in 2012.  Or perhaps you've forgotten the image of Clint Bowyer sprinting towards Jeff Gordon's car to confront him over action on track.  Neither Jeff nor Clint have been terribly forthcoming over any reconciliation, so can we expect them to get together again this weekend?

Phoenix is a smaller track, so the two of them being around each other is inevitable.  In fact, if you follow Murphy's Law, the two will likely qualify right beside each other.  Whether either of them decides to make that side by side racing more than just racing will be anyone's guess.

This week the news that "Petty Blue" will be displayed on the 43 RPM car driven by Aric Almirola was announced.  Sponsor, Smithfield Foods, obviously understands the concept of tradition and expressed a desire to continue the Petty tradition.  Remember how I say "the more things change, the more they stay the same" after the Daytona 500?  In my eyes, this is just another piece of evidence showing that NASCAR and the sponsors are trying to get back to the racing we all loved.  Congratulations to Aric, Richard and, specifically, Smithfield Foods for recognizing the importance of this move to the long time fans.  For me?  As I always seem to do when a moment in the present recalls a moment in the past, I will choke up when I see that car on the track.

As we all know, Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500, again.  Of course, many are saying this is just an example of how focused Jimmie and Chad Knaus are to get the "Six Pack", their sixth Sprint Cup Championship.  I'm not ready to hand that over just yet.  Jimmie, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. utilized that "ride around in the back until the field wrecks" strategy during the 500 and all three were up front in the closing laps.  Dale Jr finished second, while Jeff got shuffled back in the last couple of laps, finishing 20th.  However, that strategy worked, and it could have been any one of those back runners who won the race.
Blog Photo - NASCAR in the Desert - Phoenix
If you look at some of the early picks on TV or the internet, Kevin Harvick is the favorite for this weekend.  He won both the Sprint Unlimited and the first Duel at Daytona, and if it weren't for an early wreck, I believe he would have finished up front.  He has said that fatherhood has grounded him.  He has also said that he wants to finish his tenure with Richard Childress Racing with a Championship, and it almost seems as if nothing less will do.  Will he actually do what is predicted and win at Phoenix?  Well, hell yeah!! Didn't he win at Phoenix while Clint and Jeff were scuffling?  Yes, he can definitely do it again.

Finally, as we go into the weekend, here are some capsules of information, and my take on the same.

"Danica boosts Daytona 500 TV ratings from last year" - Really?? We are going to put all of that on Danica? I'm sorry, but I believe the wreck the day before, sad to say, had more to do with the boost in ratings than Danica.  In fact, I'll go one further to say that three people I personally know told me they watched the race because of the wreck.  They didn't know who Danica is.  The wreck had made the Saturday evening news and was so horrific, they tuned in the next day.  Are they sad individuals because of that?  Well, who doesn't slow down to look when they see a wreck on the side of the road. 

"Fans injured at Nationwide Race explore legal options" - Honestly, regardless of what the back of the ticket says, any fan injured to the point where they spent a length of time in the hospital, will miss work and not be at home for any length of time would be foolish not to explore their legal options.  Will they succeed?  That depends on how well the legal stipulations on the ticket are worded, but as a former legal assistant, I can tell you that any kind of legal stipulation would need pages and pages of legal wording, not just what is worded on the back of the ticket to eliminate all recourse for compensation.
Blog Photo - NASCAR in the Desert - Phoenix
"Jeremy Clements suspended by NASCAR for racial comments"  - NASCAR takes their Drive for Diversity very seriously, and so they should.  Sure, NASCAR is a "good ol' boys" sport, but just the presence of Danica, Johanna Long and Darryl Wallace shows us that anyone regardless of sex, race or religion, deserves the right to drive a race car.  That Mr. Clements was surprised at the minimum two race suspension is more telling to me than the act itself.  He has not repeated the exact phrasing to anyone, and said the comment was made in passing while describing racing.  Unfortunately, if it was said in passing, it is a sentiment that is quite common in his mind, in my opinion.  Jeremy expected he might receive a fine.  NASCAR thought otherwise.  Bravo NASCAR.

As I send this to "press", the Nationwide cars are about to take to the track for practice.  By the time the Sprint cup cars take to the track, I'll be working.  However, if you are watching and feel the need to fill in the blanks, please do so. I'll check in when i can.
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3/4/13   |   krsmntng   |   6556 respect

The flip was more exciting than the win.

3/3/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

That last lap was really fun to watch,,, Carl back flip...

3/3/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

orangemen90 wrote:
Ole Kyle Busch is going to challenge from the back.. This guy can race..

Remember that commercial with Michael Waltrip where he says "I'm at the wrong track!!!"?

Welllllllllllllllllll, You're in the wrong thread!!

angel
Psssstt Live race thread  ------> here

3/3/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Ole Kyle Busch is going to challenge from the back.. This guy can race..

3/2/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Eric_ wrote:
But that's what I'm saying. She didn't luck into a top 10 like Yeley did. If anything, she was unlucky to only finish 8th, since she ran higher basically the entire time (which helps in not getting caught up in a huge wreck). I know plate racing doesn't correlate with the rest of it, but it's not skill-less. Your refusal to give Danica any credit for how she ran at Daytona means you're saying that plate racing is nothing but a lottery.

I'll give her credit for not wrecking anyone. Like I said before, that girl had A LOT of help. I have never seen any other driver (male) given that kind of help.
I don't know how much Nascar you watch Eric, but I have been watching faithfully every race at least the Cup races, for many years, and this Daytona, smh..I can not really express my disappointment, all for "the record books"...*deep sad sigh*

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

orangemen90 wrote:
So far so good... a 50+ year old took the pole... bet that got a lot of national press.... female driver has hard time turning left....

johnson is tough... the real up and coming star will be Kyle Larson... Stewart gave away a car too soon....

Yeah, Kyle Larson is already outshining some of the "stars" ain't he? 

3/2/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

So far so good... a 50+ year old took the pole... bet that got a lot of national press.... female driver has hard time turning left....

johnson is tough... the real up and coming star will be Kyle Larson... Stewart gave away a car too soon....

3/2/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Here's what I don't get. DP ran in the top 10, if not top 5, basically the entire race. That's a good run for anyone, but all I hear is it doesn't count because Daytona isn't "real racing." However, if the Daytona 500 isn't real racing, then why is it the biggest race of the season? You can't have it both ways.

It's real racing alright. But, I honestly don't think Danica did that all by herself. She had a lot of help, Eric. I mean, when she went to "lead" the race, those guys that were not in her entourage almost wrecked themselves, because all the guys behind her had to slow down. It was ridiculous. That whole charade, yes, that is what is was to me, was planned. They had the perfect "out", a horrible wreck the night before, it all worked out well for them. Also, why did she only qualify 40th this week? I am going to hold my judgement, every racer has a bad day, but if you want me to think Danica is a good driver, she needs to step up and prove it.

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Eric_ wrote:
But that's what I'm saying. She didn't luck into a top 10 like Yeley did. If anything, she was unlucky to only finish 8th, since she ran higher basically the entire time (which helps in not getting caught up in a huge wreck). I know plate racing doesn't correlate with the rest of it, but it's not skill-less. Your refusal to give Danica any credit for how she ran at Daytona means you're saying that plate racing is nothing but a lottery.
(Edited by Debi_L)

No, I don't give her any credit for the way she ran at Daytona.  She didn't draft with anyone.  There was no bumper to bumper racing on her part, she ran well behind anyone in front of her, never tucking her little nose up to actually use the draft.  The one time I saw another driver tuck up under her back end she got out of his way by changing lanes.  Everyone stayed away from her.  She got what she got because of luck and a fast car.  Did you ever, during the entire race, hear any of the announcers say "Oh there goes Danica making a move to the inside/outside/anywhere to get by whatsisname"  I sure didn't.   She rode around the track in a fast car.  

3/2/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
It is because of the "Big One".  All the strategies in the world can't help you if you get caught up in one of those wrecks.  Look at Kevin, Tony, etc., running well and favorites for the win, then caught up in a wreck because they were in the wrong place at the right time.  Does that mean they can't race in the Daytona 500?? Hell no!

Then look at Michael McDowell, JJ Yeley, Aric Almirola, and even Regan Smith, who all got top twenty finishes.  Are we ready to call them "ones to watch" because of their finishes??   

But that's what I'm saying. She didn't luck into a top 10 like Yeley did. If anything, she was unlucky to only finish 8th, since she ran higher basically the entire time (which helps in not getting caught up in a huge wreck). I know plate racing doesn't correlate with the rest of it, but it's not skill-less. Your refusal to give Danica any credit for how she ran at Daytona means you're saying that plate racing is nothing but a lottery.

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Here's what I don't get. DP ran in the top 10, if not top 5, basically the entire race. That's a good run for anyone, but all I hear is it doesn't count because Daytona isn't "real racing." However, if the Daytona 500 isn't real racing, then why is it the biggest race of the season? You can't have it both ways.

It is because of the "Big One".  All the strategies in the world can't help you if you get caught up in one of those wrecks.  Look at Kevin, Tony, etc., running well and favorites for the win, then caught up in a wreck because they were in the wrong place at the right time.  Does that mean they can't race in the Daytona 500?? Hell no!

Then look at Michael McDowell, JJ Yeley, Aric Almirola, and even Regan Smith, who all got top twenty finishes.  Are we ready to call them "ones to watch" because of their finishes??   

3/2/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Whoa! What happened to Patrick (40th) sicker snicker....this all leads me to believe that all of Daytona was faked. I am still very disappointed with all that crap that went on. 

Yeah for Mark, still showing he has it! 

I hope your friend contacts you soon Debi.

Here's what I don't get. DP ran in the top 10, if not top 5, basically the entire race. That's a good run for anyone, but all I hear is it doesn't count because Daytona isn't "real racing." However, if the Daytona 500 isn't real racing, then why is it the biggest race of the season? You can't have it both ways.

3/2/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Or the rating could very well be related to the HUGE wreck and injured fans in the Nationwide race.  I stand by my statement that everyone *I* talked to told me they saw the wreck on the news Saturday night and tuned in Sunday to "see what it was all about".

I even had one dude ask "Who is this Danica chick and why did they keep showing her? Is she some big deal?"

Normally I would trust your statistician knowledge, but in this case, I got my info from the people, not the media or anything else.

And she sucked in qualifying for Phoenix.  She couldn't even give a decent interview afterwards.  She had no clue and just kept saying "the car got loose".  Just hope she sucks at the racing as well, and we can all just get back to normal, enjoying the racing without her being shoved down our throats.

I didn't get those numbers from the media, I got them from Wikipedia (yes, there are obvious caveats there as well, but it's a number, nothing more). The reality is the 2005 Indy 500 went up 38% in ratings from the year before, and there is only one reason why that was possible. This Daytona 500 was up 23.75% from last year. Yes, running on Sunday this time helped, and probably there was some wreck related gawkers, but I'm having a hard time believing Danica wasn't another large factor of that. The new viewers are casual fans at best.

As shown by Indy's ratings dropping the next year, the Danica spike doesn't last long, but it probably to some extent here. A few pieces of anecdotal evidence otherwise doesn't change that.

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Wow, am I impressed with Johanna Long!  She isn't on the pole now, but she had that position for a few minutes, and currently she sits 11th, with only one more driver to qualify in the N'wide series.  WTG Johanna!!!

(and she's cute too)

3/2/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Or the rating could very well be related to the HUGE wreck and injured fans in the Nationwide race.  I stand by my statement that everyone *I* talked to told me they saw the wreck on the news Saturday night and tuned in Sunday to "see what it was all about".

I even had one dude ask "Who is this Danica chick and why did they keep showing her? Is she some big deal?"

Normally I would trust your statistician knowledge, but in this case, I got my info from the people, not the media or anything else.

And she sucked in qualifying for Phoenix.  She couldn't even give a decent interview afterwards.  She had no clue and just kept saying "the car got loose".  Just hope she sucks at the racing as well, and we can all just get back to normal, enjoying the racing without her being shoved down our throats.

Or the rating could very well be related to the HUGE wreck and injured fans in the Nationwide race.  I stand by my statement that everyone *I* talked to told me they saw the wreck on the news Saturday night and tuned in Sunday to "see what it was all about".



I agree with you Debi, I bet if we went back over the last several years, More viewers came on Sunday after a wreck on Saturday or even the next weekend. The media and Nascar worked together. I am sure some folks did come to watch Danica, but she isn't the whole reason, as we have been forced fed.

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Seems so weird to see Bass Pro Shops on Tony's car.....

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Whoa! What happened to Patrick (40th) sicker snicker....this all leads me to believe that all of Daytona was faked. I am still very disappointed with all that crap that went on. 

Yeah for Mark, still showing he has it! 

I hope your friend contacts you soon Debi.

Thanks, me too.  He's bringing me my Dale Jr jacket.

(I'm sure he wasn't involved in the injuries in the stands - we would have heard that by now.)

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Eric_ wrote:
You won't like this Debi, but yeah, Danica probably had something to do with the ratings increase. The other big race we can quantify is her first Indy 500 in 2005. That race got a 6.5 rating, compared to a 4.7 rating the year before. Of course, 2006 the rating dropped back to 5.0, so it was clearly a one year blip of gawkers. I see this year's Daytona rating was 9.9, compared to 8.0 last year and 8.7 in 2011.

Why didn't the blip happen last year? I'm guessing it was a combination of the rain delay plus Danica not getting as much focus in 2012, because she was starting midpack instead of on pole. Just like in 2005, her qualifying performance let the attention build towards race day.

So, while it's only two data points, they both indicate at least a one year spike in ratings related to Danica's presence.

Or the rating could very well be related to the HUGE wreck and injured fans in the Nationwide race.  I stand by my statement that everyone *I* talked to told me they saw the wreck on the news Saturday night and tuned in Sunday to "see what it was all about".

I even had one dude ask "Who is this Danica chick and why did they keep showing her? Is she some big deal?"

Normally I would trust your statistician knowledge, but in this case, I got my info from the people, not the media or anything else.

And she sucked in qualifying for Phoenix.  She couldn't even give a decent interview afterwards.  She had no clue and just kept saying "the car got loose".  Just hope she sucks at the racing as well, and we can all just get back to normal, enjoying the racing without her being shoved down our throats.

3/2/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Whoa! What happened to Patrick (40th) sicker snicker....this all leads me to believe that all of Daytona was faked. I am still very disappointed with all that crap that went on. 

Yeah for Mark, still showing he has it! 

I hope your friend contacts you soon Debi.

3/2/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

You won't like this Debi, but yeah, Danica probably had something to do with the ratings increase. The other big race we can quantify is her first Indy 500 in 2005. That race got a 6.5 rating, compared to a 4.7 rating the year before. Of course, 2006 the rating dropped back to 5.0, so it was clearly a one year blip of gawkers. I see this year's Daytona rating was 9.9, compared to 8.0 last year and 8.7 in 2011.

Why didn't the blip happen last year? I'm guessing it was a combination of the rain delay plus Danica not getting as much focus in 2012, because she was starting midpack instead of on pole. Just like in 2005, her qualifying performance let the attention build towards race day.

So, while it's only two data points, they both indicate at least a one year spike in ratings related to Danica's presence.

3/2/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I`m not sure if this Richard Petty special is on here for the first time, but I hadn`t seen it until tonight.  How inspiring and heartwrenching at the same time.  If you haven`t, you should.

It was aired the Monday after Daytona. I agree.

3/2/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

I`m not sure if this Richard Petty special is on here for the first time, but I hadn`t seen it until tonight.  How inspiring and heartwrenching at the same time.  If you haven`t, you should.

3/1/13   |   Debi_L   |   11283 respect

Watching the replay of Sprint Cup Qualifying.  I know who has the pole position (WTG MARK!!!) but still I am watching it.

My friend who went to Daytona still hasn't returned.  I just hope he is fulfilling more bucket list stuff....

3/1/13   |   JenX63   |   31554 respect

Good times, Good times. Jeff and Clint, can't wait.