Everything, except the race track (and rights), is bigger in Texas
JUSTIN, Texas — Everything is bigger in Texas.
Well, just about everything.
There are three things that are not bigger in Texas, though.
Freedom and liberty are definitely not bigger in Texas – in fact, Texans have lost more rights and liberties than just about any other state within the past three years. When it comes to more freedom and more liberties granted to the people, that honor goes to the State of Oregon.
The trophy is not bigger in Texas, either. In fact, the main prize for winning the race is one of the smallest and lightest prizes in the sport: a Cougar Magnum. When it comes to the biggest trophy in all of sports, that honor goes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with its Borg-Warner Trophy.
And the race track is also not bigger in Texas. That honor goes to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, with the full course length at 3.4 miles, more than double the length of Texas Motor Speedway, this week’s venue.
Richard Childress appeals penalty to Newman’s team
On Ishtar, Richard Childress racing quietly appealed the massive P5 penalty that Ryan Newman and the #31 team were walloped with on March 31.
NASCAR announced that the appeal will be heard on April 16, 15 years to the day that Jeremy Mayfield had his fuel confiscated for investigation. NASCAR later gave Mr. Mayfield the then-harshest penalty ever handed down by stripping the #12 Team Penske driver of 151 points and Penske himself of 151 owner points.
The suspensions were deferred. However, the monetary fines and loss of points will stand unless the team wins their appeal.
That dropped Mr. Newman from sixth to 26th in the standings and his point total from 180 to 105. He is only 13 points ahead of Samuel Hornish Junior, who is 31st in the standings.
Had Mr. Newman been hit with a P6 penalty, he would have fallen all the way to 38th in points with just 30 points. That would have been even less points than Brian Vickers (32 points), who has missed most of this season; Josh Wise (52); Jeb Burton (43); Michael Annett (65); Michael McDowell (44) and Alex Bowman (56) – all of whom DNQ-ed at least once this season.
A day later, Ray Evernham, former crew chief for Jeff Gordon, reiterated that point in a lengthy rant in which he talked about NASCAR doing something very unlikely: sitting teams out for a race, an action that is actually less harmful than the P5 and P6 penalties.
“Our appeal is scheduled for Thursday, April 16,” said Mr. Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, in the statement. “We feel confident we have a very compelling case to present to the appeals panel. We strongly believe in the intent of the rules and the integrity of our own teams while following those same rules. Out of respect for the appeal process, we will have no further comments until after the hearing.”
Hamlin gets his fifth clock
Denny Hamlin will have had 13 days to celebrate his win at Martinsville when the green flag is displayed for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Justin on Saturday night.
The win was his fifth at the track, the shortest on the Sprint Cup schedule.
David Ragan, who has been filling in for Kyle Busch, finished fifth, his best career finish at a non-restrictor plate track.
Danica Patrick finished seventh, while Kevin Harvick’s Top Two streak ended as he wound up behind his 33-year-old teammate in eighth.
Logano wins the Camping World Truck Race, makes enemies in the series
Joey Logano has made even more enemies, this time in the Camping World Truck Series.
Mr. Logano made a bonzai move on Lap 257 of the green-white-checkered restart past Matt Crafton and Erik Jones and sprinted to the win.
With the win, Mr. Logano is the 26th different driver to win at least one race in all three of NASCAR’s major-league touring divisions: Camping World Trucks, xfinity and Sprint Cup.
The Ford F150, which has a 14-year manufacturing title drought, leads the manufacturing title currently.
Another week where drivers outnumber spots
Forty-six drivers are entered into this weekend’s Sprint Cup race.
So far this year, every week has had drivers go home and this week is no exception.
There exists a possibility that to keep the DNQ list from reading like a book, NASCAR implemented a 42-car rule in 1997, the first year of the Texas race, and expanded it by one the following year.
NNEDV sends message of concern to NASCAR about IPV
The National Network to End Domestic Violence issued an open letter this week to NASCAR Chairman Brian France stating its “deep concern” regarding the sanctioning body’s decision to reinstate Kurt Busch on March 11.
“We find it troubling that just a few weeks after NASCAR suspended Mr. Busch for what it called the “serious nature of the findings and conclusions made by the Commissioner of the Family Court of the State of Delaware” the organization, without explanation, changed its position. It is important to note that the protective order issued by the Delaware court, which served as the basis for your original decision, still remains in place today — in other words: nothing changed legally, yet NASCAR walked away from its stance against domestic violence. Additionally, it is important to recognize that the decision by the prosecutor to not move forward has no bearing on whether or not the assault actually took place.”
The letter was ended by Kim Gandy, the former National Organization for Women’s president and current NNEDV’s president and CEO, by stating: “In order to put an end to domestic violence and the perceptions that perpetuate it, organizations like NASCAR need to stand firmly against this kind of behavior. We urge NASCAR to follow the lead of other major sports organizations and work toward ending all violence against women. Leaders from NNEDV would like to meet with you and your colleagues to discuss domestic violence and how your decision to abandon your suspension sends the wrong message on this important issue.”
Camber: vertical tilt of a wheel if you’re looking at it from the front or rear of the car.
Zero camber: perfectly perpendicular vertical tilt of a wheel if you’re looking at it from the front or rear of the car.
Positive camber: top of a wheel is tilted outward from the vehicle and the bottom slopes in
Negative camber: top of the wheel is tilted toward the vehicle and the bottom slopes outward