Gibbs, Penske, Allison among NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees
Championship team owners Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske as well as the late Davey Allison are among five new nominees for the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. NASCAR announced the additions Wednesday, March 8, 2017. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Championship team owners Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske as well as the late Davey Allison are among five new nominees for the 2 NASCAR announced the additions Wednesday. Three-time Late Model Sportsman and 1956 Modified champion Red Farmer and 2000 NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte also are new to the 20-person nomination class.
Sometimes, the best ideas aren’t new ideas at all. Sometimes, the best ideas are old ideas brought up to date with the times.
Quieter NASCAR? Sport floats idea of cars that make less noise
Report says fans would benefit by being able to communicate easier, engage at tracks.The proposal is among 15 to 20 changes currently being studied by NASCAR, according to The Sports Business Journal.
From 1985-97, R.J. Reynolds sponsored something called “The Winston Million,” a $1 million bonus to any driver who could win three of NASCAR’s biggest four races in a single season: The Daytona 500, the spring Talladega race, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and the Southern 500 at Darlington.
A simple promotion, perhaps, but a damned hard one for racers to win. In the first year of the Winston Million in 1985, Bill Elliott won at Daytona, Talladega and Darlington to earn the $1 million bonus.
In 1997, the final year of the program, Jeff Gordon won $1 million by winning at Daytona, Charlotte and Darlington.
In the 11 years between Elliott and Gordon, nobody won the Winston Million, although on five occasions, drivers won two of the four races, thereby earning themselves $100,000 bonuses.
Is your new-car warranty good at the race track?
The answer is very much: It depends. We've all heard the horror stories. Your buddy knows a girl that was dating a guy whose best friend's brother once broke his brand-new, recently purchased performance car while making runs at a drag strip or laps at a track day, and the manufacturer wouldn't cover the repair under warranty.
Elliott’s dramatic win in 1985 launched his career and made him a household name across the country. He even landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
I was there at Darlington in ’97 when Gordon won and still remember the huge publicity it generated. After the race, Gordon took a lap around the track with an armored car behind the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, throwing fake money out on the track as they lapped.
Corny? You bet it was. But it was also immense fun and helped generate a lot of interest for the sport, something we could use right now.
Showmanship, flair and high stakes make racing more interesting. So I have a modest proposal: Bring back the Winston Million, except call it the Western Million because it would involve NASCAR’s spring Western Swing, plus the June race at Sonoma.
The basic structure would be the same. If one driver wins three times in the first races of the year at Las Vegas and Phoenix — remember, Vegas will have two races next year — Auto Club Speedway and Sonoma Raceway, that driver wins $1 million.
NASCAR suspends crew chiefs for Keselowski and Harvick
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) NASCAR has suspended the crew chiefs for Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick for violations at Phoenix Raceway. Research Research New Used New & Used Make (e.g. Mazda) Model (e.g. CX-5) Keselowski’s car failed post-race inspection on Sunday and NASCAR suspended crew chief Paul Wolfe three races. Wolfe was also fined $65,000 and Team Penske was docked 35 driver and owner points.Keselowski finished fifth at Phoenix. He already has a victory this season, so the points penalty does little to alter his playoff position.
Win two of the four and you win $100,000. And just to spice it up a little, throw in 10 playoff points for winning three races in the Western Million and 4 playoff points for winning two races. Think about it: Creating the Western Million would be easy to do.
It would generate a lot of interest with both casual and hard-core fans and it would be something that NASCAR, Monster Energy and the tracks could throw a ton of marketing muscle behind. We’ve already seen what a home run Darlington’s throwback weekend has been with fans.
(Editor's Note: Each week we'll update the NASCAR power rankings to reflect the most recent race and project how drivers will perform going forward in the season.) Ryan Newman used pit strategy to end a 127-race winless streak, while Kyle Larson grabbed his third-straight second-place finish. Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott had two of the fastest cars all day but ended up third and 12th, respectively. Check out the latest edition of power rankings after the Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway:
It’s only fitting to put Larson in second-place, it seems to be where he has become most comfortable. He’s finished second three-straight races, but does have the points lead. We keep waiting for him to pull through with his second Cup Series win.
Harvick didn’t dominate the desert like we’re used to seeing but he took a car that wasn’t to his liking and finished near the front. Expect SHR to keep ironing out things with Ford and get faster as the year goes on.
Why is Keselowski losing spots in the rankings after a good finish? It’s because he failed post-race inspection and will likely be dinged between 10-40 points, along with a suspension and fine for crew chief Paul Wolfe.
Through the first four races of the season, Bowyer has shown speed but seems to be a bit off of the top-tier teams. He’s contending for a top-10 week after week, but hasn’t been able to really break through.
There have been some glimpses of speed for Dillon this season but the No. 3 RCR Chevy hasn’t finished well. He didn’t have much speed or finish in Phoenix. Also, his antics in the XFINITY Series race might have him in some trouble with NASCAR.