It's been a busy week in NASCAR. We asked @NASCAR_Wonka and @TheMiniChad of The Sidesh@w to weigh in on the rulebook that was thrown at Joe Gibbs Racing, Denny Hamlin and anything else that caught their attention. Because really? Wouldn't you rather read something from them anyway?
Remember in Bristol last year when Tony Stewart threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth? Well, NASCAR did something similar to Kenseth this week – except they didn’t throw a helmet at him, they threw the rulebook, the kitchen sink, a bill; and at one point it was rumored they even threw his own illegal rod at him. In what Kenseth called “borderline shameful,” a slew of fines and penalties were levied against the #20 team (I would list them all, but it would take longer for me to do so than it would for me to list all the federal tax laws for 2013). Then the fun began… Twitter blew up with cries of support and outrage. There were “the penalties were too harsh” on one side and “good, they got what they deserved” on the other. In the end, all the Twitter-bickering we immersed ourselves in changed nothing, and we’re all right back where we started: with the #20 team in a hole bigger than the pothole at Daytona in 2010. JGR announced they would appeal, obviously; but in my opinion, the appeal does nothing more than buy time as there is no chance of anything being reversed or lessened –that’s right, I said it – NO CHANCE. Even with the TRD folks shouldering the responsibility, I doubt NASCAR will amend their decision. Why should they? As @TheOrangeCone would say, “It’s their sandbox.” So, where does that leave Kenseth fans? They’re all Bon Jovi’d up and Livin’ on a Prayer (and an appeal).
Moving right along… Denny Hamlin announced this week that he won’t race at Richmond. I, along with Hamlin fans, was saddened by this, but we must remember: HE BROKE HIS BACK! It’s not as if his pancreas was bothering him so he decided to sit out for a while. However, where this got peculiar were the discussions on whether or not he should start Richmond and then go 3-4 laps down by getting out of the car. Wh-wh-what!? Was he cleared or not? Who’s calling the shots? Is his name really Denny? I’ll let you ponder that one while I figure out something easy like, “where is Jimmy Hoffa’s pinky ring?” Personally, I still think Kenseth called Hamlin and told him that he can earn more points by sitting out of a race than actually starting in one.
This leads to the last driver of JGR, who is now oddly referred to as “the quiet, still-allowed-at-the-racetrack"” Kyle Busch (Did I really just say that and mean it?). With the drama his teammates are going through, Kyle could humbly win a whole bunch of races, and no one would even notice. Oh, wait…
In other news this week, Depend announced their sponsorship of Juan Pablo Montoya’s car at Richmond – I would get into this one as well, but getting into an adult diaper is something I’d rather reserve for many, many years down the road.
See y'all in November!
I personally think that NASCAR shot themselves in the foot
They have served several penalities this year and I heard this morning that the fines were in excess of $450,000. Which goes to a charity...as we understand it.
We understand why they have rules, but to enforce a rule that clearly does not help the performance of an engine is way beyond my understanding. Granted if all the connecting rods were under limit then I would go with NASCAR 110%. BUT, to find one rod that is 2.7 grams (which I thing is about the same weight as 2 cotton balls) is going way over the extreme. I understand that they weighed all 8 connecting rods and several rods were as much as 4 grams heavy. (I wound insert here that I believe that Mr. White of TRD mentioned on NASCAR XM Radio the fact that they did not check the weights of these rods....which I find very hard to believe.) I am not an engine builder, but it makes me ask; How do the crankshafts get balanced if they do not know the weights of the rods? He also added that they had some engines at MWR and a few at Gibbs that had borderline rods in them and they would not be running at Richmond. So I ask Mr. White, how do you know about these engines having borderline rods in them when you do not weigh the rods ?
As we all know this one rod that was 2.7 grams lighter than it was suppose to be, 525 grams. I ask NASCAR, how does this enhance the performance of an engine? You slap everyone with un - Godly fines for something that did not help the team at all....if anything, this rod being too light should HURT the performance of the engine not enhance it.
So NASCAR you slap down the terrible fines and ruin the reputation of some of the best men in the garage area. Let's look and see what some of the folks think;
If you are a casual follower of NASCAR: the person thinks that since these fines are so large that these guys must have an additional 100 horsepower or something like that and they got what they deserved
And if you are a NASCAR guru fan, you know good and well that this is one of the most stupid things that NASCAR has ever done. And that this fine was not deserved by the men that received them.
NASCAR has now made the casual fan think that these men were REALLY CHEATING and NASCAR got them good. And now the NASCAR guru fan thinks that NASCAR is a joke of a sport.
So I ask NASCAR, did you shot yourself in the foot or what (and how much did that round weigh) ?
A few weeks ago we had the privilege to host an INDYCAR special test session with the likes of Graham Rahal and AJ Allmendinger. In our time spent with Mr. Allmendinger, we had the opportunity to ask the real tough questions like who's his biggest rival, what's the weirdest thing he's autographed, etc.
We've got INDYCAR on the brain, people. Only 51 days until the Firestone 550. "The original nighttime INDYCAR race!" (yeah, we have to say that...)
See you soon, race fans.
This weekend will be my first time racing at Texas Motor Speedway, and seems like it’s going to provide some great racing for us in the Nationwide Series. I was fortunate enough to come with my Turner Scott Motorsports team to the track on the first of the month to test our Cessna Chevy Camaro, and I really think we learned a lot that we’ll be able to use this weekend. If you didn’t see the GoPro footage from inside the car, it’s a cool opportunity to see what we do inside the race car going almost 200 mph. We worked a really long day on Monday because it was going to rain on Tuesday, so we were on track for almost 10 hours. It was actually a good thing though, because we were able to test around the same time of day that our race will be this weekend, so track conditions should be similar.
I’m so used to racing almost every night that I did a lot of open wheel and go kart racing during our couple weeks off. After the test, I came back to North Carolina for a couple days and raced my kart at Mooresville Motorplex in the RACERSITES Cup. I messed up on one of the restarts so I could’ve had a better finish than sixth, but it’s always a lot of fun to race out there every Wednesday night. We’ve got the final race for the championship tonight, so I’m sure it’ll be another exciting race.
After karting last week, I went back to California to see some of my friends before the summer stretch of NASCAR racing begins. When I’m home, I always try to get back behind the wheel of an open wheel car somewhere, and this time I was able to go to Antioch to race with the Outlaws, and Placerville Speedway with a 360 sprint car. We had a good battle at Antioch and finished fifth, and the next night went to Placerville. I hadn’t raced there in a few years, so it was really cool to go back because the fans there are really into the racing. I was able to pick up the win and then got the chance to meet with all of the fans afterwards. It was a really fun night.
We’ve had a few things going on in the shop over the past couple weeks too that have been fun to be a part of. We did an ESPN feature that will tell a little bit of my story, so stay tuned for that. We also decided last week I was going to run the Rockingham Speedway Camping World Truck Series race, which I’m especially excited for. After I run the Nationwide Race in Texas on Friday night, I’ll get on a plane and fly straight to Rockingham for practice and qualifying on Saturday. I’ve turned a lot of laps there in testing and during the K&N East race last year, plus the Turner Scott trucks were really fast and won the race with Kasey Kahne last Spring. Harry Scott and Steve Turner gave Autism Speaks the opportunity to be on our No. 30 truck, so it’s going to be a really special race for a lot of people. My crew chief, Trent Owens, has a five-year-old son, Gray, who is affected by Autism, so we’ll be racing in his honor on Sunday and I hope I can pick up a win for him and everyone affected by Autism.
If you’re coming out to Texas Motor Speedway to see our race, I’ll be at the SPEED Stage on Friday at 1 pm to film Trackside Live, and then the Chevy Stage right after my appearance on the Trackside show. Go out and buy your tickets if you haven’t yet, and make sure to stop out and see me. It’s going to be a wild show on Friday night.