This week, we go from the high banks of Talladega to a Saturday night short track shootout in Richmond. The Nationwide cars will kick the racing weekend off on Friday night at RIR, while the Truck Series heads west to Kansas for a rare Sunday race. While we wait for the weekend to arrive, here’s a big batch of reader questions and our answers 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 Don:
How do the teams get cars to tracks in such short times? Does the transporter go back to Charlotte each week or is there more than one transporter and they alternate weeks? The transporter has to be completely restocked each week and some times Charlotte is not on the way.
Most Cup Series teams have two drivers per truck. This allows them to make it back to Charlotte in a timely manner after a race (for races close by this isn’t a problem). In the case of West Coast races organizations will often send extra trucks from Charlotte to run equipment to their teams out West because driving to Charlotte and back just isn’t feasible. Smaller teams will often just turnover the equipment they already have. – Journo
2. From ATS:
Every weekend when I watch the beginning of the race I see the #00 and David Reutimann come to the front and run in the top-5 or top-10. Only to have a failure of MWR equipment ruin his day. Do you think we could see David move teams at the end of 2010?
I don’t see David Reutimann going anywhere. I believe his contract is up this year or next, but I think he’s pretty happy where he’s at. Remember he and Waltrip go back a long ways. And anyway, where would he go? There aren’t too many seats available. – Journo
3. From Marcus:
What happens to Penske Racing’s #12 car now? Will Justin Allgaier drive it or what happens? Just let me know if you get any inside information.
It could be used for Hornish or it could go away. I haven’t heard anything specific, but I don’t think Allgaier will be in it next year (full-time at least). It’s possible he could run a few races, but they won’t be moving him full-time to the Cup Series in 2011. We’ll let you know if we hear anything. – Journo
4. From West Coast Kenny:
T.C. and Journo, It seems like Robbie Gordon causes a yellow during every race. Is it possible he does that just to get TV time for his sponsors?
I’m going to say probably not, but anything is possible. – Journo
5. From Woogeroo:
What is the deal with some races being impound races and some of them are not? It seems to me like Detroit’s love affair with half the autos fasteners being metric and the other in inches… with no rhyme or reason. I can understand Daytona with all it’s goings ons… but what’s the deal with the rest of them?
It is my understanding that only the Talladega races and the Daytona race in July are true impound races. I don’t know for certain what NASCAR’s reasons are for impounding cars at these tracks, but I would imagine it’s because there are so many extra little rules. Impounding the cars allows NASCAR to have more control over what the teams can and can’t do. – T.C.
6. From Cinde:
Kurt to drive the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. Is Pennzoil that much better of a sponsor? Do they provide more sponsor money than Miller Lite? Or just pay the driver more? In your opinion why would Kurt go to Pennzoil? Or, perhaps did he really not have a choice at this time? Finally, do the CC and crew generally stay with the driver, or will that be a change as well? Thanks! Love your weekly writings!
It doesn’t have to do with Shell/Pennzoil being a better sponsor. And Miller is still with the organization. I’m not privy to their negotiations, but I would imagine Shell wanted Kurt Busch and Miller was OK with shifting their focus to Brad K. Wam, bam, Penske had a deal. In my experience drivers, for the most part, don’t really care who’s on the car, as long as they’re able to race. I’m sure Kurt Busch is just as happy hawking oil as he was beer. As far as switching crews, we haven’t heard anything about that and given the success the two teams are having in their current configurations, I don’t see Roger Penske making any major changes. – Journo
7. From Allen:
I’ve noticed during pit stops the lug nuts sometimes fall under the tires, has a lug nut ever been shot back and hit someone when the driver stomps on the throttle to leave?
It certainly has. The gas man and catch can man are usually the guys in the direct line of fire, but others have been hit. Trust me, it isn’t pleasant. – T.C.
8. From Doug:
You told us that you and Journo are Batman and Robin. Allow me to be just a little bit skeptical, if that’s OK. My question: do regulars in the press box and on pit row know who you are, are you both really in deep cover?
As far as we know our identities are unknown. If someone does know who we are, we haven’t heard about it. – Journo
9. From djones:
Regarding the recent penalties at MWR, are the drivers aware of suspect parts on the car, or other infractions? I’d like to believe they are innocent. Thanks.
I would say in most cases the driver probably doesn’t know. There is really no reason they need to know, plus keeping them in the dark gives the sport’s stars that oh-so-convenient “plausible deniability.” – T.C.
10. From Kim:
Sitting here in Talladega! If the race is an “impound” race and the cars would have been impounded after qualifying, what happens when qualifying is cancelled, as it was today? Are the cars deemed impounded at the moment qualifying is cancelled?
Actually, cars are impounded before qualifying, so the rainout doesn’t really matter. Teams were allowed to make any final adjustments to their cars on Friday evening, and then they were sealed until the race. The cars did go through an inspection on Sunday morning before the race, but teams were not allowed to do their usual race day work. - T.C.
11. From Amy:
While watching Talladega I am noticing that during the draft some of the cars have their hoodflaps popping open…I have never noticed that before- it that a product of the bump draft or the spoiler? Does it hurt anything?
It’s just a product of the aerodynamics and how the air travels over the cars. If I remember correctly, the flaps are coming up because they are in a low pressure area. And I don’t believe the car’s performance is hurt by it. – T.C.
12. From Michael:
A few years ago it seemed Jon Wood was on a path to a great future. Then, poof, he was gone. Any news?
Jon’s last start in any of the top NASCAR series was at the Phoenix truck race in November of 2008. He has not reappeared, I believe, because of his performance and because of his own personal issues (which I will not get into here). Wood made 17 truck starts in 2008, and only managed a best finish of 10th. Once the Wood Brothers team ran out of money to keep their truck program going, Jon was out of a ride. I would be surprised if he returned to competition down the road. It’s a shame too, because he could have been a very solid driver. – T.C.
13. From Kim:
Another question came up while sitting at Talladega: that hat hit the track close to where I was sitting. Why call a caution during practice for a bird, but not call a debris caution for a hat on the track? I’ve seen debris cautions called for a lot less!
Birds and other animals on track can (and have) actually cause significant damage to race cars. A hat on the other hand, especially like the one that ended up on the track at Talladega, is much less of a hazard. Didn’t the hat end up getting hit and destroyed anyway? – T.C.
14. From Dave:
I’m a little surprised you guys haven’t written about Roush’s situation in Nationwide since Colin Braun got ousted. I’m thinking as far as the 6 and 16 go, it looks pretty ugly. Does Roush go back to Erik Darnell at this point, Kenseth for the rest of the season, or does Roush stop running those cars when they’re unsponsored? Colin will run only, what, 10 more races? So I’m just assuming Stenhouse, who’s been equally as disappointing, won’t make it the full season anymore. Just seeing if you’ve heard anything… I don’t mean to sound happy about the situation, but I just don’t think the plan was ever a good one– two rookies in those cars full time. Thanks!
The situation at Roush has more to do with Jack’s frustration with Colin and the situations he puts himself in and the mistakes he continues to make than it does issues with young drivers or even unsponsored teams. Running these teams full time is exactly what Jack needed to do. He needs to see what these guys can do and see if they’re worth keeping (you can’t keep running part time schedules with young drivers and hope to accomplish anything). After three seasons with Colin, I think Jack has seen all he needs to see. With Ricky though, I don’t think he’ll get pulled unless there is some serious trouble down the road. Remember prior to this season Ricky had just one full ARCA season and a couple of Nationwide Series starts. – Journo
15. From David:
2 questions, what is the problem with racing someone hard(Jimmie Johnson – Jeff Gordon) also heard Hamlin complain. Do they think competition should move over for them because of who they are? Also how about a road course in the chase.
I don’t think actually racing each other close is the problem with some of these guys. What bothers them is when that close racing turns into contact and wrecks. Jeff Gordon has been mad the last few weeks because he’s been wrecked while racing hard with someone, not because of the actual racing itself. You have to remember too, some of these guys just need something to complain about. If it isn’t the wing, it’s Toyota has more power, or it’s people racing “too” hard, etc. etc. For your second question, I’m all for adding another road course race. In fact, I wrote a post about it last season. See it here. – T.C.
16. From Rick:
I heard ricky rudd is helping the #23 team in the Nationwide series is that true or is he helping anyone?
I haven’t heard anything about that, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Does anyone know anything about this? – Journo
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!