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#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011 Finish- 7th
Now I know Dale Jr. had a pretty good season last year but lets be honest, it wasn't great, especially for fantasy owners. Junior came out the gate early racking up some top 10 finishes and giving the NASCAR fans something to cheer about as the sport’s most popular driver had the 88 car leading some laps. But as the year went on, his fantasy price stayed up while his performance dropped to mid-level pack finishes. This was a fantasy owner’s nightmare as they were paying upwards to a top-5 driver, and getting a Robby Gordon type finish. What makes it worse is Dale finished 7th in points setting up yet another overrated and over priced fantasy year for this 88 team.
Dale Jr. is only a restrictor plate starter until he proves otherwise. Even after that, still watch his price tag; it might not be worth it.
Final Stats for 2011
Final Rank 7
High Finish 2
Low Finish 41
Total Laps Led 52
Top 5 Finishes 4
Top 10 Finishes 12
Top 20 Finishes 29
Average Start 19.6
Average Finish 14.50
WOW factor? Yes. A traditional stock car? No, but NASCAR lost the "stock car" a long time ago. Times are changing and the sport is revolving and the "street style" car is inevitable. NASCAR's first attempt was the Car of Tomorrow (COT) and not only was it unsafe, everyone hated it to include the drivers.
So what's next for the great sport of NASCAR and their ability to adapt and change with today's society? By the looks of it, it could be this street generated design of the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford Fusion.
SBNATION- Ford unveiled a sleek Ford Fusion during the second day of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour,showing off a vehicle that looks more like a street car than any in recent memory.
It will be a refreshing change and follows in the footsteps of the cool cars that are on track in the Nationwide Series. The onus now falls on Chevrolet, Toyota and Dodge to match Ford's sweet new design.
Below are some photos and videos of the new car:
Credit: Story and photos via: SBNATION.com
The past is past. The Future is now. No that's not the words of Danica Patrick but she is living the words of the great Joe Dirt as she concentrates strictly on her new racing endeavor and skipping "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".
ESPN- Danica Patrick has added the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to her 2012 Sprint Cup schedule, eliminating any possibility she will run in the Indianapolis 500.
"I'm not going to do the Indy 500,'' the former IndyCar Series driver said on Monday to kick off the 2012 Sprint Media Tour. "I hope to do it in the future. Maybe it'll be a double.
Patrick, who is running a full Nationwide Series schedule at JR Motorsports and part-time Cup schedule for Stewart Haas Racing as she makes the transition from open wheel racing to stock cars, said it was a business decision to run NASCAR's longest race that is held on the same day as the 500 in May.
Stewart-Haas Racing team owner Tony Stewart said the decision to sit out the Indianapolis 500 was Patrick's decision.
"We didn't tell her she couldn't run the 500. It was left up to her," Stewart said. "It shows how dedicated she is to making this transition."
Patrick competed in her first Indianapolis 500 in 2005 and finished fourth, the highest finish in that race for a female driver. It remains her goal to win the 500.
Credit: Story, quotes and content all via: ESPN.com
Photo: Getty Images
Thousands of fans met the 2012 Miss Sprint Cup lineup during the NASCAR Preview Presented by Sprint in Charlotte, N.C. Sprint announced that returning members Kim Coon (Orlando, Fla.) and Jaclyn Roney (Ann Arbor, Mich.) have been joined by newcomer Kristen Beat of El Cajon, Calif.
Miss Sprint Cup represents the Sprint brand around the track and in Victory Lane wherever the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes. The three representatives also serve as the fans' "friend on the inside," delivering via Facebook and Twitter behind-the-scenes updates, pictures and video, while highlighting Sprint products and offers.
-Beat adds a Southern California flare to the Miss Sprint Cup lineup. The former Fuel TV on-air talent and extreme sports reporter grew up racing motocross bikes and was a big supporter of her brother's pursuit of a professional racing career. When she isn't at the racetrack, Beat enjoys surfing, working out and honing her culinary skills with healthy recipes. After receiving her communications degree from the University of San Diego, Beat pursued her dream of a career in broadcasting, eventually becoming the youngest credentialed reporter in X-Games history.
-Coon returns for her second season as Miss Sprint Cup, which makes the former marketing and public relations professional the veteran member of this year's lineup.
Rounding out the 2012 lineup is Roney, who is entering her first full season as Miss Sprint Cup. The Eastern Michigan University grad joined the program in July 2011 and is looking forward to attending her first Daytona 500 next month.
Story, content and Miss Sprint Cup information via: Jayski.com
Respect, personal pride and paranoia of what others think about you could be your worst enemy. Just ask Ricky Carmichael. Now I know what you are thinking; how could "respect" or being respected be a flaw? Well, "respect" is debatable when in relation to, or reference of a certain situation or opinion.
Example: Some people show respect to others due to title or social acceptance while others have respect to those who have acted or "stands for something" of similar beliefs.
The below story is a clear case of that, as business battles respect with respect coming in last. But referring to my opening statement, that is just my opinion on this topic of "doing the right thing" or "doing the right thing...." It all depends on what side of the fence you are on.
Sirius-Speedway.com - Multi-time AMA motocross and supercross champion-turned NASCAR driver Ricky Carmichael says he is uncertain of his plans for 2012, after sponsor Monster Energy elected to back brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch in a new NASCAR Nationwide Series effort.
In an exclusive interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’sSiriusXM Speedway with Dave Moody, Carmichael said he initially was assured the Monster Energy sponsorship would remain with him in 2012, and that the 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series races announced yesterday for Kurt Busch were supposed to be his.
“I had a handshake with the CEO of Monster Energy,” revealed Carmichael. “But the weekend of Texas (Motor Speedway), it went away. We were good to go, but when Kyle had his issue (at Texas), it all went sideways.”
“Kyle sent (Monster) a letter asking if they were interested (in joining KBM),” he said. “When they got that letter, it put a bug in their ear.” He said he was initially supposed to be a part of those plans, before learning that he was one of many drivers under consideration. “I think Kyle talked to eight different drivers, counting me,” he said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t know that. I let Turner Motorsports know we probably wouldn’t be coming back (in 2012), but once Texas happened, things changed. I think I stayed in the mix (with KBM) only because of Monster. I don’t think I ever had Kyle’s approval. He was looking at seven or eight other guys. It’s not like he was texting me every day saying, `I really want you to race for me.”
Carmichael said he realized KBM was not the right place for him.
“It wasn’t right,” he said. “It felt forced, but I felt it was disrespectful to Monster (to turn the deal down). I just go about racing a different way (than they do). KBM doesn’t represent what I represent; the Ricky Carmichael brand.”
Carmichael said he feared his image would suffer from signing with Busch, adding, “I had a feeling that if I went there, I would lose fans. I was afraid people would say, `I used to like Ricky Carmichael, but now I don’t because he races for Kyle.’ I felt it wasn’t right for me. I need everything to be positive, and nothing negative.
“I have no disrespect for Kyle Busch,” insisted Carmichael. “He’s a heck of a driver and he’s going to win a lot of races. I haven’t really come close to winning in NASCAR, so I’ve got no leg to stand on. I can’t complain about the decision. (Kyle and I) just have a different way of racing.”
Carmichael said he maintains a friendly relationship with Monster Energy, and could continue with them in some capacity this season.
Credit: The following story was found via: Dave Moody-host of Sirius Speedway With Dave Moody on Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90 Twitter Feed @DGodfatherMoody
Quotes, content and full story via: Sirius-Speedway.com
Keep it in the family. After years of public dislike towards one another and a 2011 season that had both Busch brothers experiencing negative headlines, Kyle Busch has hired his older brother to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.
NASCAR.com- Kyle Busch Motorsports on Thursday announced it has signed a multi-year agreement with Monster Energy Co. as primary sponsor of the team's No. 54 Toyota in the Nationwide Series and that owner Kyle Busch will share driving duties with his brother, Kurt, in 2012.
Kyle Busch, the all-time series wins leader, will drive the season-opening race at Daytona and the subsequent four races through Fontana before splitting the balance of the season with Kurt.
Since debuting in NASCAR, Kyle Busch Motorsports has had the goal to add a championship-caliber Nationwide Series team to our organization," Kyle Busch said. "With [Thursday's] announcement of Monster Energy as primary sponsor and my brother, Kurt, as the second driver, we've accomplished that goal.
"Kyle has done an impressive job in building this race team and I'm proud to be a part of it," Busch said. "He won a Truck Series owners' championship in his first year and his team has kept on winning ever since. Now, it's moving into the Nationwide Series, where the bar will remain high. His expectations are the same as mine, and we know each other better than anyone. We're driven to win, and with Monster Energy driving us, we'll be a tough team to beat."
I guess when times get tough, family should be the first in line to help out. We all know what 2011 brought with both Busch brothers having their own share of problems from "drivers respect" to sponsors refusing to be affiliated with their driver. 2012 can only be an improvement for both drivers and this show of loyalty and dedication can only lead me to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Busch brothers have turned the corner.
Here is an old video of the Busch brothers tangling on the track during the All-Star race in 2007.
Story and quotes are via: NASCAR.com
Picture of brothers via: somewhere on the internet. I apologize for not being able to give credit.
NASCAR, which has been reeling from attendance woes and falling TV ratings for past couple of years saw a positive increase last year after "boys have at it" pushed the limits while Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards raced for the closest points battle in NASCAR history.
So what can NASCAR do to top all the headlines from the 2011 season? Brian France (NASCAR CEO) sat down with Ben Grossman from Broadcasting & Cable and talked about some of the main issues that NASCAR still faces.
Ratings seemed to possibly bounce off the bottom last year. Do you know why?
We do. Story lines matter and if you are fortunate enough to get those it’s very helpful. In our case we have an additional challenge and that’s keeping the racing competitive; there’s a mechanical component to that, there is parity. We had 15 winners this year [in 36 races], we had close finishes and the final part of the year was dramatic, of course. When the storylines come together organically, and when it all comes together, you get a great outcome.
What were you doing to draw the traditional NASCAR fan last year?
What they like more than anything is a focus on the racing. The marketing and the rest of it, they are less interested in that. They like it when close competition happens. So we create really competitive racing, we are not as an industry talking about sponsorship and things, they don’t care about any of that, they just care about how is my driver doing or how is my team doing? [The “Have At It Boys” philosophy], those are the kinds of things they like. So we can affect them from a format and how we oversee the events. But we can also get in our own way on that, we can trip ourselves up.
You say you’re pretty aggressive about what your TV partners need to do for NASCAR. What do you want from them?
We are always the sport that is under-covered given the ratings and size of the events. In particular, ESPN. They just have so many platforms. So we are pushing real hard with them to have a more integrated approach. We have hired people to service them better, so we can help them accomplish that. They have the most assets to be deployed; it doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t have some big ones and good ones. We are going to work to make them a better partner.
Your TV deals are up in 2014, but when do your negotiating windows open with your current partners?
Not for a little while, but we are having conversations, because a lot of our partners have been clear they would prefer to renew. All things being equal, our first hope is that the incumbents do renew. . . I think [talks] could heat up at any time, that’s my sense. It’s not cold now, we are having conversations, my sense is things will happen sooner rather than later, and sooner than they normally would in a cycle of renewals.
Are you going to change the post-season Chase format?
I think I’d be shot if I changed the format, frankly. We are not going to change the format.
How much does it hurt that Dale Earnhardt Jr., your most marketable driver, doesn’t win races?
It hurts. It hurts. He is trying to win and get his team to have the confidence to not only win one but rip off more. He did improve and made the Chase, he’s a big franchise, he’s the most popular driver in NASCAR, so it would help us if he would win.
Your title came down to clean-cut Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart, who might punch you in the face at any moment. Who is a better spokesman for your sport?
I thought about that before they settled it, of course whoever won won, but I came to the conclusion both would be good champions. Carl is going to win some championships, he’s just too good not to, so the way Tony did, I think it worked out the way it needed to.
Everyone talks about creating superstars, but does your sport need villains?
I think some version of a villain, yeah. I think you need people that no one cheers for, I think that’s healthy. But there are limits to that. It’s great when there is someone that acts different, has a little bit of bravado, that typically is good.
So do you want drivers fighting by the trailers or not?
No, we don’t want to see things escalate to that. But they have emotions and we don’t want them to have to put them in a briefcase either. They ought to show their emotions and all of it, that’s fine. There are limits, but I would like to see them show more, not less, of their emotions.
What do your TV partners tell you about that? SportsCenter shows a lot of fighting and big hits in hockey highlights.
They are not going to tell us they would like to see a boxing match on the straightaway.
Brian France photo by: (Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Watch here as Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Menards Chevrolet Impala from Richard Childress Racing records some test laps during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preseason Thunder test at Daytona International Speedway.
If you think the regular "in-car cameras" are cool, this perspective via Paul's cell phone taped to the steering wheel is something like no other. NASCAR should take a vote on if fans would like to see this view full time. My vote is yes....
Video found on: rcrracing.com
Not so fast Las Vegas fans. Your local Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base have been tasked with some early NASCAR orders as they will provide race fans with the flyover during the National Anthem for the 54th annual Daytona 500.
It’s the third time the flying team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform the flyover for the Daytona 500. The Thunderbirds previously flew over the race in 2008 and 2011.
“It’s hard to imagine a better way to start our 2012 demonstration season,” said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, the Thunderbirds commander and flight leader. “Being part of an event as celebrated as the ‘Great American Race’ is a tremendous opportunity, and we look forward to showcasing the pride, precision and professionalism of the U.S. Air Force to NASCAR fans.”
The Thunderbirds flyover will feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter aircraft, soaring over the speedway at the moment the final notes of the Star-Spangled Banner are sung.
Story courtesy of: DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com