Start Your Engines - Viva Las Vegas

3/6/13 in NASCAR   |   Scott   |   52039 respect

Welcome to this week's edition of Start Your Engines.  This week our panel of racing fans, Eric , DebiJennifer and myself will give our thoughts on all the happenings in the world of racing as well as look ahead to next weekend's race in Las Vegas.

Let's get to the discussion

This past week, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races were held in Phoenix.  Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch dominated the Nationwide field and raced away with the win.  The first place finish gives Busch 106 career wins combined in all 3 of Nascar's top series (Truck, Nationwide, Sprint).

We briefly touched on this last week about Sprint Cup drivers racing in the Nationwide series and how it gives the Sprint Cup regulars a slight advantage over their competition.

Do you think that Nascar should limit the amount of races a Sprint Cup regular can drive in the Nationwide Series?

DebiI have ALWAYS thought the lesser series should be for the drivers making their way into the major leagues.  I have never been in favor of the Cup regulars participating in these races.  I think NASCAR should limit the number of Cup drivers in both series to under 5.  If you want to compete in Nationwide, and you are a Cup driver, you need to state that intention before the season begins, and the first five who state that intention get in, the rest are SOL.

Jen I don't think Cup drivers should be allowed to race in Nationwide. Period. The next: Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon might be, being overlooked. Since Nascar instituted choosing which series you were seeking a championship in, they should institute, the, "I want to drive in" and have the drivers choose which series. 

Eric - I've been wondering about why Cup regulars drop down to Nationwide for years now.  I assume it is to please sponsors, because I'm skeptical it's that beneficial to their Cup careers.  So yeah, I'm with the rest of you.  Stop letting the Cup guys drive in the lower series, save a few times a year at most.

Scott - I've never been a fan of the Sprint Cup regulars driving in the Nationwide Series and I suppose if Nascar is going to continue to allow it, they need to put a limit of 2 or 3 races for each Sprint Cup driver.


Kyle Busch has taken a lot of heat in recent years for his attitude and aggressive driver.  With his 106th win, is it time for people to start giving credit where credit is due and recognize Busch as one of Nascar's best young drivers?

DebiI already recognize his talent.  I think most people do, but like his brother, it is his anger issues that are problematic

JenI have always thought Kyle was a better than average driver. Honestly, his attitude really doesn't bother me much either. He seems so tame, not so "rowdy" anymore. I miss that about him. Answering your question: everyone should appreciate his talent on the track whether they like him or not.

Eric - I thought people did, but are just turned off by his attitude and some of his on-track incidents.  It will also help if he finally put it all together and won a championship, or at least contended for one up til the end.

Scott - I've always thought Busch has received some what of a bad rep.  Sure, he's had his moments that have soured some people but the reality is, a lot of drivers do.  At this point, Busch has to be one of the most dangerous drivers in the Series, capable of winning on any track at any time.  He truly is one of those racers that can drive any car at any time and have success.

The other big Nationwide news occurred off the track.  Jeremy Clements was suspended by Nascar for 2 races for making an "intolerable and insensitive" remark that violated Nascar's Code of Conduct.  Clements has refused to disclose the exact comment but has admitted to the mistake.  The comment in question wasn't recorded and the only people present were Clements, a MTV reporter and a rep for Nascar.  

Is Nascar over-reacting or do they have a valid claim in suspending Clements?

DebiIt was posted today that he used the N word while walking past a motorcoach.  He was apparently not speaking of anyone in particular, but I find that hard to believe.  The reporter who he spoke to is the person who approached NASCAR with the news.  I applaud that reporter.  There is no room for that language in this sport, or any other.

JenYep, I have no clue about this incident, only heard after Debi mentioned it. Was he walking and having a private conversation? Who lurks about like that anyway? I really need to know more before I can give an informed answer. I'm just speculating.

Eric - This whole situation is strange.  On one hand, while we all have freedom of speech, we're not free from the consequences of said speech.  On the other hand, we still don't know what Clements said or what the context was.  It was probably the right call, but it's another case of a strange lack of transparency from NASCAR.

Scott - 50-Cent's comments before Daytona about there "being no blacks" at the race really shone a light on just how few minorities watch the sport.  If it's true Clements used the N word, Nascar really had no choice but to make some sort of statement with this suspension.
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3/9/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

I agree with you.. Until they temper the marketing at every interview the sport will not grow.... It get old watching Gordon or someone make sure the camera catches them drinking the bottle of coke...One driver even put the coke in front of her face,,, They just follow directions..

Just got back and the NNS is on.. These cars are fast...Must be fun to be at this track today...Of course the cup drivers have the best equipment and will win, But here its just about the race,,, Harnish Jr. could not win cup races but he is doing fine here...

3/8/13   |   Debi_L   |   11786 respect

orangemen90 wrote:
as a non writer someone who's career has forced him to write more.. when not working I'll post what I think at the moment...maybe not even responding to the blog at hand.,.. Since everything one writes is just to add to the conversation....

but thanks for the read and i;ll try to restrict my writing to the topics laid out in the blog.. I would add a there is a Nascar rule for all drivers that want to run any car in a NNS race. Ib the old days (5 or so years ago)., the cup drivers ran almost all the races and took all the points. Now there are rules/guidelines governing who can run a NNS race and whether he/she will get points. The fans love it and the sponsors get some added traction.

As for the comment regarding restricting who can run in the NNS as only those that may someday become a Cup driver. Well, that's old school. Now besides driving a driver must have the requisite marketing skills. Such as smiling and hold the bottle of coke the correct way. But truthfully sponsors drive it all...It drives each and every race and each and every sentence that come out of the driver or car owner.

A good question to write about is what does teh sponsor get from teh particular driver. Do they get a return on their investment. The answer would be no as we see the changes this year.. Think fishing...

I think I'm the one who said the part about "climbing the ladder to Cup racing" and honestly I am wrong in that.  If a driver, like Elliott Sadler for example, has chosen to drive in Nationwide full time, then that's great.  Other drivers, such as Ron Hornaday Jr., have chosen to drive in the Camping World Truck Series and that's wonderful!  The point is, they are in that series and competing for a Championship.  It's frustrating for them to have to compete with those drivers who are in the elite series.  

Yes, I understand the sponsorship thing, but I don't agree with it.  And I don't know what the answer is, but I do believe the number of racers not competing for a championship, racing in any race needs to be limited somehow.

3/8/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

(Edited by orangemen90)

Which Ford will do better Sunday.. Biffle #16 (starts 5th based on 2012 points) or Edwards #99 starting 16th based on 2012 points. Interesting between makes since the Gen6 cars are maker specific.

3/8/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Are all of your comments going to take shots at Danica? That'll get old two weeks ago.
(Edited by orangemen90)

as a non writer someone who's career has forced him to write more.. when not working I'll post what I think at the moment...maybe not even responding to the blog at hand.,.. Since everything one writes is just to add to the conversation....

but thanks for the read and i;ll try to restrict my writing to the topics laid out in the blog.. I would add a there is a Nascar rule for all drivers that want to run any car in a NNS race. Ib the old days (5 or so years ago)., the cup drivers ran almost all the races and took all the points. Now there are rules/guidelines governing who can run a NNS race and whether he/she will get points. The fans love it and the sponsors get some added traction.

As for the comment regarding restricting who can run in the NNS as only those that may someday become a Cup driver. Well, that's old school. Now besides driving a driver must have the requisite marketing skills. Such as smiling and hold the bottle of coke the correct way. But truthfully sponsors drive it all...It drives each and every race and each and every sentence that come out of the driver or car owner.

A good question to write about is what does teh sponsor get from teh particular driver. Do they get a return on their investment. The answer would be no as we see the changes this year.. Think fishing...

3/8/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

orangemen90 wrote:
\

Are all of your comments going to take shots at Danica? That'll get old two weeks ago.

3/8/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

(Edited by orangemen90)

\

3/6/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I know this was just announced and for some reason it seems to be a really big deal to some.  Why is everyone so "one side or the other" over this NRA sponsorship of the Texas race?  I don't get it.  To me, it's just another entity wanting some publicity over sponsoring a race, just like Bass Pro Shops or Camping World.  I certainly don't want to start a political discussion, but to me it is just non-news.  The NRA and NASCAR have been affiliated for ten or more years, and they are contributors to the NASCAR children's charities and have been for a decade, so why is them stepping up to sponsor a race considered news?

Because it is a political thing. It's impossible to separate the NRA from politics; that's their stock in trade.

3/6/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

Looking for the 48 to win this weekend...Truthfully teh race sponsor is just a sound the announcers use... We see all sorts of ouut of place sponsors... kind of like Godaddy.com.

3/6/13   |   Debi_L   |   11786 respect

Scott wrote:
Probably because less then two weeks ago at Nascar's biggest race, the car most people were watching and talking about outside of Jimmie Johnson was the one that was soliciting donations for the victims of Sandy Hook, a cause Nascar donated a ton of money too.  I can see why this would be seen as inappropriate in some people's eyes

To me the Sandy Hook tragedy is about some wack job who went completely wacko, not about Rifles.  I dunno. It's like 911 was about a sinister power hungry wack job, not about planes. Maybe I'm over-simplifying things  

3/6/13   |   Scott   |   52039 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I know this was just announced and for some reason it seems to be a really big deal to some.  Why is everyone so "one side or the other" over this NRA sponsorship of the Texas race?  I don't get it.  To me, it's just another entity wanting some publicity over sponsoring a race, just like Bass Pro Shops or Camping World.  I certainly don't want to start a political discussion, but to me it is just non-news.  The NRA and NASCAR have been affiliated for ten or more years, and they are contributors to the NASCAR children's charities and have been for a decade, so why is them stepping up to sponsor a race considered news?

Probably because less then two weeks ago at Nascar's biggest race, the car most people were watching and talking about outside of Jimmie Johnson was the one that was soliciting donations for the victims of Sandy Hook, a cause Nascar donated a ton of money too.  I can see why this would be seen as inappropriate in some people's eyes

3/6/13   |   Debi_L   |   11786 respect

I know this was just announced and for some reason it seems to be a really big deal to some.  Why is everyone so "one side or the other" over this NRA sponsorship of the Texas race?  I don't get it.  To me, it's just another entity wanting some publicity over sponsoring a race, just like Bass Pro Shops or Camping World.  I certainly don't want to start a political discussion, but to me it is just non-news.  The NRA and NASCAR have been affiliated for ten or more years, and they are contributors to the NASCAR children's charities and have been for a decade, so why is them stepping up to sponsor a race considered news?

3/6/13   |   Debi_L   |   11786 respect

After reading everyone's thoughts here, especially on the Lucky Dog, I am going to actually say I think any one driver can only claim one lucky dog pass in any given race.  I agree with Scott that there is no way Joe Nemechek should be getting three in a race.  I don't want to see them go back to racing back to the yellow.  Drivers can get seriously hurt when they do that.  But I agree there need to be changes.  NASCAR implemented the drive around, but that just proves too confusing to the newer fans.  Heck even some of the old time fans are going WTF???  Needs to change.

As an aside, is anyone a fan of the "new" NASCAR.com?? They changed the whole web design in the off season, and quite frankly, it sucks, in my opinion!  No longer do you get everything at a glance.  Instead you get one big headline thing and in order to see anything else on their site you have to start clicking.  I might be a minority, as I pay so much for my internet, but I do not like that one bit.