It’s back to the Tricky Triangle this week. The Cup Series makes its second stop of 2010 to Pocono, along with the debut of the Truck Series. The Nationwide Series is off to race in front of what hopes to be a sold out crowd at Iowa Speedway. While another week rolls along, we’ve got more reader 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 Allen:
I’m going to try and make this easy to understand, but back in March I was attending the Kobalt Tools 500… well I noticed about 50 laps in when certain cars went by the engines sounded a little different. Some had a “BUZZ!” rather than a “ROOM!” if that makes sense… I believe it was the Toyotas though I’m not 100% sure. Was this just from letting off the gas or what?
Teams have some freedom when choosing the type of exhaust components they use. To get the optimum horespower out of the engines, teams will try different headers and exhaust pipe combinations. Between that and the differences between each manufacturer’s engines, you will have some different sounds for each engine. – T.C.
2. From Garry:
…another Chicago question…I did not want to “hog up” the thread, so I wrote them down, and only ask one question per week. Why dont they let/make them practice and qualify under race conditions. If they race at night, why dont they qualify at night? PS swamisez … ummmmmprediction…. Jeff Gordon wins the 2010 Brickyard 400 (posted on July 21,2010)
It really depends on the scheduling for each weekend. Remember that very often, NASCAR must fit in practice and qualifying sessions for more then just one series. Also, some tracks have noise ordinances that go into effect at certain times at night. Often though, while they may not get to practice at the exact same times as the race, they usually get close. – T.C.
3. From Tom:
After seeing the fine NASCAR hit Carl Edwards with, I got to wondering something. When a driver, owner, crew chief (etc) gets fined, where does the money go ? It also seems to me that a points penalty would hit home to a driver much more than a monetary one.
All money collected from NASCAR fines is given to the NASCAR Foundation as per NASCAR policy. Certainly points penalties are far more damaging than monetary fines (unless you’re an underfunded driver or team). – Journo
4. From Kate:
What happened between Jeff Dickerson and Kyle Busch? Why isn’t he spotting? I will miss his dry humor on the radio. Is he still his agent? Being a fan of both, I hope it was an amicable split.
All we’ve heard about the situation is what’s been reported. Jeff Dickerson is no longer Kyle’s agent, or business manager, though Kyle is still with Motorsports Management. Was it amicable? I’m not privy to their personal relationship, so I won’t speculate. Dickerson is a very good spotter though. - Journo
5. From KathyCalculates:
We’ve seen the Parade of Haulers at Vegas and here in Indianapolis and wondered if they do this coming into all the venues and whether or not they travel across country in a sort of caravan or if they meet up near town in order to arrive together. It is so thrilling to witness!
No, they don’t do those in every city – they are very cool though. As far as travel goes, some teams require their drivers to run together, others don’t. Most of the time, regardless of company policy, hauler drivers will run with a couple of others. No big caravans normally, though during NASCAR’s run in Mexico they did run in large caravans with police escorts into Mexico City. And to your last question, the haulers are required to be at the track at a certain time on a certain day, usually Thursday morning (for the Cup Series) where they are put in order and brought into the track. – Journo
6. From Jerry:
Guys where did all this talk come from about a triple crown that includes the Indy 500. This kind of TV promotion seems to take away from the importance of our on Nascar triple crown.
I have no idea where it came from – and I’ll be honest, I don’t think the Daytona 500, the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 constitutes a “Triple Crown” of American motorsports. It seems to me you’d need to replace the Brickyard 400 with the 24 Hours at Daytona or the maybe the US Nationals. I don’t think it diminishes anything in NASCAR but even if it didn’t make a “triple crown” it was still a big accomplishment for Chip Ganassi, and his organization. – Journo
7. From Sterling:
Hi there… great blog. Keep up the great work I found it to be a curious comment made early during the broadcast about the lack of fans in the stands at the Brickyard and how the commentators wouldn’t be getting into it on air. After they made the comment I couldn’t stop looking at how empty the seats were all over the track. I know times are tough and fan attendance has been down at some tracks but can you shed some light on the Brickyard specifically and why they would reference this on-air with no follow up explanation.
Thanks for the love! Without much empirical evidence, my own personal opinion is that attendance was down at the Brickyard for a few reason. First, and most obvious is the economy. Fewer fans can afford to attend races than in the past. Second, I think the tire debacle at Indy in 2008 is still having an effect. That race was a complete nightmare, and many fans haven’t forgotten. Third, I just don’t think the racing at Indy is all that great. The track wasn’t really built for stock cars, and it’s difficult to pass which means not a ton of action. And finally, I believe the novelty of stock cars at Indy has ended. While the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still absolutely hallowed ground, it’s just not as big a deal anymore that NASCAR goes there. And I believe it wasn’t fully explained on TV because ESPN wanted to focus on the racing in their first race of 2010. More of a glass half full stance. – T.C.
8. From Phil:
The Chase…I realize that NASCAR is attempting to create season ending excitement. But I hate the orginal Chase, the revised current chase, and the anticipated elimination style chase. Here’s my reason, which may I add, I’ve never heard anyone raise. Unlike all other sports, NASCAR participants can be victims of circumstances totally beyond their control. Flat tires, failure of a part that causes the engine to blow, a caution just after you’ve made a green flag stop, another driver makes a bone head move and takes you out, etc. Under the pre-Chase 36 race format, these should even out between drivers and a true deserving champion determined. With the 10 race Chase and even more so under an elimination format, these factors are more likely to impact and determine the championship outcome. Other sports do have to overcome injuries beyond their control, but otherwise their play dictates the championship. Like I said, I understand the reasons for the Chase, however the excitement NASCAR is trying to create seems forced, artificial and contrived. Just my own opinion but I’m curious the hear how insider’s feel, if you agree or disagree. BTW, love your column!!!
First off, thanks also for the love! I’m not personally against the Chase in it’s current form. The whole reason the Chase was implemented in the first place, was because we’d seen many drivers run away with the title, and guys like Kenseth win it while only winning a single race all season. Nobody seems to remember this, but fans used to complain about the old system like they complain about the Chase now. The Chase certainly creates some season ending drama, which I think is good. I think the elimination style Chase that has been proposed is a mistake however. In my opinion, I think NASCAR needs to get as much feedback as possible from all involved (fans, drivers, media, teams, sponsors, etc.) and completely rework how the points are awarded. The current system rewards consistency, and I think they need to figure out what they want a champion to be. – 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!