June 12, 2009

Newman on GM cutbacks


“I don’t know the entire financial situation on any of the big three. My first comment in respect to all of this back when Chrysler announced something, I don’t think it was bankruptcy but they announced something and the bottom line was we’re here to support all the manufacturers because Chevrolet doesn’t just win a race against Ford they win a race against Chrysler and Toyota and everybody else. The bottom line is we’re here to support all of them and whatever we can do as drivers, team owners, sponsors to help the economy, to help the situation, to help GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota is what we need to do. I don’t know financially their situation as far as what they’re going to pull from and how much they’re going to pull and how long this is going to last and all that stuff. That’s a question for the Chevrolet people but the bottom line is as media, as drivers, as everybody else we need to help out their situation.”

From a GM Press Release

Jeff Burton on GM cutbacks
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on GM cutbacks
Jeff Gordon on GM cutbacks
Fantasy racing perspective on GM cutbacks

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Kurt Busch on improving a car at the track


“The biggest thing is to utilize practice time in the best way that you can. Without testing this year, when we show up at these race tracks, I feel the best thing for us to do is to knock out a few odds-and-ends items that you wouldn’t normally run at a specific race track like Michigan. We’ll try this or try that and then settle in to our normal changes that we would work on with our Miller Lite Dodge and try to dial it in on the high lane, low lane; there’s so many lanes to choose from here at this race track that they handle differently. You’re keeping an overall perspective on how to work through practice trying to finesse through big changes at the beginning, then the smaller ones at the end of practice and then fine-tune it. Then as the race progresses, the track rubbers in and the low line isn’t preferred, but you have to go down there to make some decent passes and make sure that your car runs on long runs because fuel mileage always pops up here in Michigan. Finally, with the double-file restarts, you’re always going to have to pay attention how quick your car takes off on fresh tires because you’re going to be stacked side-by-side with guys that you’re racing for position instead of having lapped cars down there.”

From a Dodge Press Release

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Johnson is about due at Michigan


“I think so. That stat we are well aware of it (14 starts at MIS no victories). I feel that we have had some really good chances to have victories here. We had a fuel mileage situation one time get us, last year leading when the whole pit cycle started and the No. 88 was able to make it in one. I think we are closing in on it. We knew early in our career that this was a tough track for us. I think over the last three or four seasons, we’ve done a very good job of being competitive, we just haven’t been able to be there on the last lap in the right position. With all the work that has gone in to it and how consistent, we have been leading laps and running up in the top-five, I think it is out there for us.”

From a GM Press Release

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

N'Wide: Logano still fastest

Joey Logano was fastest in the first practice session at Kentucky and he proved that was no fluke by posting the fastest time in the second session as well with a lap of 174.842 mph.

Our View: In fact, he was head and shoulders above second place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

However, Kyle Busch is liable to be his closest competition on Saturday and he was not at the track, having stayed in Michigan to spot for Brian Ickler.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

ARCA: Buescher finishes fourth at Michigan

One of the two drivers doing double duty with the ARCA and Camping World Truck Series, James Buescher finished fourth in the Racing for Wildlife 200.

Our View: This is a good warm-up for the truck driver; seat time in any vehicle is valuable.

More ARCA Newsbreakers

Burton on GM Cutbacks


“I hate to comment on it because I don’t know a whole lot about it. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Richard (Childress) this morning a whole lot about it but I will tell you that I know Chevrolet is going to do everything that they can to do the best job that they can in motorsports.

"This is an unprecedented time and in many ways it’s a sad time and in many ways it’s an exciting time. Chevrolet having to pull support is a big deal because so many people rely on and they have been such a big part of the series.

"So I don’t know everything I need to know about it to comment a hundred percent but I can just tell you that in my talks with Chevrolet is that they want to do everything they can to stay involved and be a part of the NASCAR deal. And I think they are but they have some tough decisions to make.”

From a GM Press Release

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on GM cutbacks
Jeff Gordon on GM cutbacks
Fantasy racing perspective on GM cutbacks

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

ARCA: Kligerman wins at Michigan

Parker Kligerman won the Racing for Wildlife 200 by holding off Richard Childress' grandson Austin Dillon and the field. His passed two cars for the lead before the final caution for a spin involving Justin Marks.

Our View: This team was scheduled to run only eight times this year unless a sponsor was found. This was the eighth time and they still don't have a sponsor, but they do have two wins in 2009.

More ARCA Newsbreakers

Gordon on GM cutbacks


“I think we all have been watching and waiting to see the reaction and I think it is no surprise that there are going to be big cutbacks. And as a dealer as well as a race car driver, we’re doing everything we can to keep our business going strong and doing everything we can to support them in the decisions that they’re making so that we see a great company, whether it’s smaller than it was before or not, come out of it with continued good products out there and giving the customers what they want as well as thinking that NASCAR racing is important to them from a marketing standpoint. So, you know they’re going to make cutbacks and it’s unfortunate for those that have to deal with that. We’re involved with that with the Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports being involved with that. So, it’s unfortunate, but those guys have to make decisions and do the best they can to keep their business and we’re going to stand by them.”

From a GM Racing Press Release

Earnhardt on GM cutbacks
Fantasy racing perspective on GM cutbacks

N'Wide: Logano paces practice 1

Joey Logano got to the track after the first practice session at Kentucky Speedway started, but he wasted no time getting to the top of the charts. He posted the fastest lap in this session with a speed of 172.783 mph, according to @NASCAR_NNS, the official tweet of NASCAR PR.

Our View: Logano was already one of our favorites. If he's just as fast in the evening, he could become THE favorite to win.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

Yahoo! Qualification Story – Michigan

Historically, qualification had been important at Michigan. We say "historically," however, because that is well in the past. In recent years, winners are just as likely to come from outside the top 10 as inside that mark. Check out this week's Yahoo! story(.pdf) of who's going to be hot at in the LifeLock 400.

Skinner goes home from Michigan

Mike Skinner was the slowest of the "go-or-go-home" drivers, and he will be the only driver heading home early from the LifeLock 400.

Our View: Not that it would have mattered; Skinner is one of the start and park drivers.

Fantasy perspective on GM cutbacks

In the light of GM filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, major cutbacks are expected NASCAR-wide, according to both the Associated Press and The Sporting News.

Our View: Earlier this week, Richard Petty Motorsports announced major layoffs among their teams after a similar declaration from Dodge. This won't effect superteams like Hendrick Motorsports, but in general, Ford drivers might be better values for the remainder of the season.

Earnhardt on GM cutbacks

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Vickers wins Michigan pole

Brian Vickers was the 12th driver to hit the track and he knocked Kyle Busch off the provisional pole. He held off the remaining 30-odd drivers to win his third pole of the season.

Our View: That ties him for the season with Mark Martin and this dark horse has been solid on the two-mile tracks since switching to Toyotas and Red Bull Racing.

Trucks: changes expected to 2010 schedule

The Camping World Truck Series schedule has not been released yet, but ThatsRacin.com is anticipating some major changes. These include the removal of the Milwaukee Mile and additions at Darlington Raceway and Iowa Speedway.

Our View: The Trucks have been extremely exciting at Darlington in the past so we certainly hope that one comes true. Rusty Wallace's Iowa Speedway would also be a welcome addition; it's a short track patterned after Richmond International Raceway.

More Camping World Truck Series Newsbreakers

Skinner, Marlin slowest in practice

Only one driver will go home this week without racing and if practice is any indication, that driver will be either Mike Skinner (44th fastest with a speed of 181.616 mph) or Sterling Marlin (41st – 181.887).

Our View: Both of these teams are start and park operations, so it won't make any difference to your fantasy roster.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Gordon's got what he's got

Jeff Gordon was never able to return to the track after he blew an engine and was forced to change the powerplant. He completed only five laps of practice.

Our View: Worse still, he landed only 37th on the grid. This could be a long week for the No. 24 team.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Earnhardt on GM cutbacks

From a JR Motorsports Press Release

“Obviously the automotive industry is dealing with unprecedented business challenges, and we understand the need for restructuring to accommodate the need to reduce costs and maximize return. We have been proud supporters of the Chevrolet brand our entire lives and don’t anticipate that ever changing. We are fully capable of adjusting our business model to accommodate this change, and with the backing of Hendrick Motorsports, we will continue to lend our full support to Chevrolet. The manufacturer support GM provides at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level is more critical in nature than in the Nationwide Series, and I hope Chevy is able to continue supporting that level, as the promotion of NASCAR works well for its demographics.”

- Kelley Earnhardt, vice president and general manager of JR Motorsports

Johnson fastest in Michigan practice 1

Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest single lap in NASCAR's first practice session at Michigan with a lap of 188.818.

Our View: He'll be the 23rd driver to take time and if the track improves (which we're not sure it will), he should be considered a favorite for the pole.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

N'Wide, Trucks: KHI, JR Motorsports lose GM support

According to @BobPockrass and @DustinLong, in the widening financial crisis for the Big Three automakers, Kevin Harvick, Inc. and JR Motorsports have confirmed they have lost factory support.

Our View: Both organizations vow to keep fielding strong cars, but also hint that restructuring is in order. However, smaller crews will mean less resources and in turn, less speed.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers
More Camping World Truck Series Newsbreakers

Michigan qualifying order

Jayski.com has published this week's qualifying order. David Ragan will be the first driver on track and Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled at 35th.

Our View: The track shouldn't change much between the first and 35th driver, but no one want to the be the first guy out.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

ARCA: Ickler Fastest in Michigan practice

Brian Ickler posted the fastest lap in Friday morning's practice session at Michigan, according to ARCAracing.com. He topped 41 drivers.

Our View: Ickler will be doing double duty this week in the ARCA and Camping World Truck Series this week. James Buescher will also run the double header on Friday.

More ARCA Newsbreakers

Gordon blows up in Michigan practice 1

Jeff Gordon blew up in the first practice session. He will have to change the engine and will have to start at the back of the pack regardless of where he qualifies.

Our View: This is another setback for a driver and team that is losing momentum, but four drivers have already won this season after being sent to the back of the pack with an engine or car change.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Mears scrapes Michigan wall in mirror incident

Casey Mears scraped the wall in an incident that was almost identical to David Reutimann's. His accident happened on his first lap of practice as well.

Our View: The drivers are on full kill from the time they leave the garage. They may want to scale back to 95%.

See also: Reutimann scrapes wall at Michigan

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

N'Wide: Blue skies above

According to reports from the track by @BobPockrass, the sun is shining over Kentucky Speedway. All on track activity should get in the books without problem.

Our View: It would certainly be nice to make a weekend without rain delays. This will allow the Nationwide Regulars to develop some rhythm.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

Reutimann scrapes wall at Michigan

David Reutimann scraped the wall early in Michigan's first practice session before he even made his first lap. The splitter drug the ground and caused the incident before he even started the timing clock.

Our View: That's not a very good start for a driver looking for his first top-10 on this track.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Trucks: Crafton tops Michigan practice 1

Matt Crafton topped the first practice session for the Michigan Camping World Truck Series race, according to @NASCAR_Trucks. Rookie Brian Ickler was second quick.

Our View: Crafton is the current points' leader in this series, and this is a great way to start defending his lead.

More Camping World Truck Series Newsbreakers

Trucks: Benson in No. 15 at Milwaukee?

Kyle Busch intends to turn the keys of his No. 15 Billy Ballew truck over to Johnny Benson Jr. at the Milwaukee Mile, according to a tweet from @DustinLong.

Our View: Benson recently lost his ride in the No. 1 truck. If this happens, it could make Benson the favorite to win on the one-mile flat track since Busch has been so dominant in that ride all year.

More Camping World Truck Series Newsbreakers