Vegas baby, VEGAS! The Cup and Nationwide cars head to Sin City this week, but before we take off for a little gambling in the desert, we’ve got another round of readers questions for you. If you don’t know what this post is, we answer any and all reader questions every Wednesday, right here. So if you’ve got one, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send one to us. On to the questions…
1. From Ed:
Guys, me and my friends are looking to go to Richmond for our first ever NASCAR race!! And we want to make the most of it, except we don’t know anything. For first-timers, would it be better to go cup or Nationwide or Trucks, and where is the best place to sit at Richmond?! I saw your comments page from last March for first-timers, and it was great. We are looking to mingle with everyone and be in the center of it all. Where is the best place to tailgate? Thanks!
Alright readers, this question is for you! If you’ve been to Richmond, chime in below in the comments section and help Ed and his buddies out! – T.C.
2. From Ric:
Previously you have mentioned another company transports pit boxes from track to track. Do they load and unload them? Where do you stop handling them and they start, and vice versa?
Yes, a company called Champion Tire & Wheel actually hauls most of the pit boxes for the Cup Series to the tracks. Champion unloads the boxes, places them in the correct pit stall, and then loads them after the race. Basically, all the teams have to do is show up, set everything up, race, then tear it all down. – T.C.
3. From Stephen:
Has anything been said about the IRL’s feelings toward Danica testing the water in NASCAR? I’m sure the IRL isn’t thrilled since I’m assuming the goal for her is to one day switch and drive in NASCAR. How hard was it for her to convince Andretti-Green to let her try NASCAR or was it? I’m assuming that Michael understands since his dad did it in the past. Also I was watching the Nationwide race at Daytona and noticed Kasey Kahne drove a Toyota instead of a Ford in the race. It seems he did that last year as well. How does that work? Does Ford care that he drives a Toyota on Saturday and a Ford on Sunday?
As far as I know there really hasn’t been much said on the part of IRL. I would imagine they’re thrilled she didn’t leap head first and leave the sport all together. As far as AGR, or I guess Andretti Autosport now, goes I would be willing to bet when she re-signed with them this past year, this was one of the stipulations made.
With the Kasey Kahne situation, these deals generally have to get approved by management at these teams, whether it’s the same manufacturer or not. Obviously it could be a problem depending on who he drives for and what his contract stipulates. In this case, it obviously wasn’t a problem. – Journo
4. From Dan:
I know the 66 team is a “start and park” team, but why did Blaney go to the back of the pack before the drop of the green flag after such a good qualifying run? Was this just a get out of the way move knowing he would be dropping out early?
You are exactly right. Sometimes you will see these teams drop to the back so they are out of the way of the pack trying to race, and it reduces the risk of getting caught up in an early crash. In some cases though, I’ve heard of NASCAR not allowing some cars to do this. – T.C.
5. From Anonymous:
How can a driver pit on green, a yellow is thrown, and that driver comes out ahead of the leading driver who pits on yellow????? I thought a yellow puts everyone back at a ‘registered’ position prior to the yellow.
In the case of Jimmie Johnson he was able to beat Jeff Burton to the scoring loop which kept him on the lead lap. Jimmie assumed the lead because he was on the lead lap and everyone went into the pits but him. The other guys that were in the pits were scored a lap down because Burton passed them. They obviously got the wave around and ended up at the tail end. As they say, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. In this case, Jimmie is both.
As far as the rule change goes, it only applies if you don’t stop in your pit box. If you do pit you can still get caught a lap down. Remember in this case, all of these guys were on pit road while it was still open, before the caution came out. It was just a case of bad timing and really good timing. Here is another explanation of the situation. – Journo
6. From Woogeroo:
Howdy folks, I have two questions. 1) how do they measure the distance of the race tracks? At the top or the bottom of the track? I’m guessing it is at the bottom… 2) when the steam is coming out of the race cars when they get too hot, like I think it was Clint Bowyer? The steam was pouring out on pit road there. Is there a pressure release valve plumbed into the system there or what? Also, the cars have big water tank on them besides just what is in the engine block and the radiator, correct? Thanks!
To be honest with you, I’m not sure how tracks are measured. I’ve heard they measure the bottom, and I’ve also heard it’s a specified distance from the wall. Maybe someone else knows? And yes, cars have an overflow tube that usually either exits in front of the windshield on the right, or out the back of the car. Teams are only permitted to run a 1/2 to 1 gallon overflow container inline with the tube. No other tanks or containers are allowed. – T.C.
7. From AJ:
I have a question and and observation, first the observation. I thought it was intresting that Coors Light changed victory lane when Joey won the Nationwide pole to say 21 means 21 instead of the beer adverstising that was there for Jamie when he won the Cup pole. Now the question, there was a pit injury I think on Montoya’s team and they had a Red Bull team member fill in, was that person an extra person on the Red Bull team who at one point changed tires? How would you find a guy like that on such short notice?
Yeah, Coors Light has been doing that since they took over the sponsorship. They may even be required by law to do it for the under 21 drivers. For your other question, that Red Bull team member is actually at the track for the specific reason of being a backup tire changer. The changer you are referring to is Chuck Efaw. He is paid to back up the Red Bull teams, but apparently the Red Bull management approved him to go help out the #42. There was a story before the season started about how Stewart Haas would have a third pit crew at the tracks to pit Bobby Labonte’s car and back up their own teams. Many other teams have similar setups. – T.C.
8. From Eric:
I guess you guys were at the track this year. I havent been to ACS in a couple years my self. From what I remember in the past, the entire race was side by side racing, but when I watch TV its as boring as watching gold fish…. Am I missing something? Is it really that boring?
Well I’ll say I really enjoy racing, but when it comes to California, I could do without it. So yes, it was was pretty boring. – Journo
9. From Kenny:
What kind of preparation does a team do to clean the pit stall and prepare the surface to add grip? When I was younger, I remember reading an interview with a roadie who worked for Rolling Stones who said they poured Coke on the stage/platforms so that Mick wouldn’t slip.
Usually the stalls are just swept up. Many teams had been using the chemical VHT, which is usually used in drag racing to add traction to the starting line area, to add grip to the pit stall. But just recently, NASCAR decided they wouldn’t permit teams to do that anymore. Coke or another sugary soda has also been used in the past. – T.C.
10. From Simmy:
You’ve probably mentioned it already, but why wasn’t there a truck race in California this year?
NASCAR made the move to save teams money. A move that actually does make sense (it’s expensive to travel that far). They gave the extra date to Pocono at the end of July. – Journo
11. From Lost In Texas:
As I looked at the empty stands in CA this weekend, I wondered how hard is it for the teams to make the CA race and turn around and return to LV. It would make sense if the haulers and teams stayed on the West side for the two races, but I have been told that all return home after the CA race. How tough is this on the teams and hauler crews? Would it be better to have the CA race then maybe a race or two on the East side and then return to the West. I think this hurts attendance at CA. Any thoughts?
Actually, most of the haulers and even some teams are staying out on the West coast between the races. The teams will send extra haulers out to the West coast to bring in fresh cars and supplies, but the actual race haulers will stay. Many teams will either find a parking lot to do work in, use the garage at the race track or a spare shop. One example is Brendan Gaughan. He allows some teams to use his old Truck Series shop to do prep work before Vegas. - T.C.
12. From Scott:
Hey Guys, After watching the California races this weekend I get really confused about all the hatred and dislike for that race course. Personally, I love to see that type of racing and passing. Four and five wide through the corners is awesome. Why do you think California gets such a bad rap? Maybe because it follows Daytona and doesn’t have the same amount of crashes? Thanks!
I think this is a personal decision and one I can’t provide an explanation for. I’ll say this year was a little better than previous years, but what you generally get here is follow-the-leader racing. It’s boring. And twice a year is just way too much. I don’t really think it has to do with the placement on the schedule, I think it’s just the lackluster racing. But to each his own. – Journo
13. From Bob:
I’m confused. I know that the driver points and the owner points are not the same. But how is that Dave Blaney/#66 is behind Casey Mears/#90 in owner points? Both teams have attempted two races and Blaney actually qualified for the Fontana race. Must be weird NASCAR math!
Those teams that don’t make the race are still awarded owners points. If you look at the standings, teams are actually given points almost as if they would have run the race. For Daytona, the Keyed Up team was given 31 points because they were the first team to not make the race, while the 66 was only given 13 points because they were much further down the order. And the amount of points gained by the 66 team at California for their 41st place finish wasn’t enough to overcome the difference at Daytona. – T.C.
And that brings yet another “Ask The Insiders Wednesday” to a close. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions. And remember, if you’d like to be a part of next week, click on the ”Ask the Insiders” tab at the top of the page and send your question in!