Monday, October 20, 2014

Former NHRA champion and NASCAR team owner Raymond Beadle dies



   Raymond Beadle, a former three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion owner and owner of NASCAR veteran Rusty Wallace's 1989 championship team, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He was 70.

   Beadle ended the four-year championship reign of Don Prudhomme, winning the Funny Car title in 1979, then added crowns in 1980 and 1981 with his vaunted "Blue Max" entries.

   Beadle owned cars for eight seasons in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. The late Tim Richmond drove for Beadle from 1983 to 1985 and Wallace drove for him from 1986 through 1990.

   In his 1989 championship season, Wallace won six races and won the series championship by 12 points over the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

   Wallace posted the following message on his Twitter account on Monday: "Really saddened by news about Raymond Beadle. Without him, I would have never gotten to where I am today. He will be greatly missed."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Roger Penske on Brad Keselowski: 'I want him to get mad'

   Team Penske owner Roger Penske was adamant in his defense Sunday of his Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski, who took heat this week from fans and several of his competitors over his actions following last weekend's race at Charlotte.

   Keselowski had post-race run-ins with drivers Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth on the track and in the garage following the race. Keselowski was fined $50,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation for four weeks.

   Following a discussion by Keselowski of how he didn't allow what happened to alter his focus for this week's race, Penske jumped on the chance to defend his driver.

   "Number one, these guys are jealous of the job he's done this year. He's won six races. He's made poles. He's been up front. Nobody likes to see a guy win like that. The fact that he has a little edge on him, he's continually delivering, obviously I think makes a difference," he said.

   "If everybody understood what happened on the race track last week, when you get your rear fender knocked off on a restart, you get your front fender knocked off on a pass‑by, I want him to get mad. I don't want him to take it. 

   "So to me coming back, we talked about it Sunday night, I said, 'Let's just go on, do our test during the week, move on here. Brad, I said, Put it in the rear view mirror.'"

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How NASCAR veteran Terry Labonte learned what not to do

   Two-time NASCAR Cup series champion Terry Labonte is making what he said will be the final start of his career on Sunday. 

   On Saturday, Labonte was asked about his first series start at Darlington, S.C, and he recounted an interesting story on how he learned 'what not to do' at the track to be successful.

   "The good thing about it for me to run my first race there is being from Texas I really wasn’t that familiar with Darlington. If I would have been, I probably wouldn’t have picked that one as my first race. But we went to Darlington and I never will forget doing down there. They had a rookie meeting and they showed a video that they played of all the things not to do. I was sitting there watching that thing and the guy that starred in that video was the guy that drove the car I was driving the year before. So everything he did wrong they pointed out in that video," Labonte said.

   "So I sat there and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, the car is identical. It’s the same paint scheme, same number, everything.’ So I sat right there and thought, ‘The thing to do is not make next year’s video. Don’t make all the highlights of the things not to do.’ So they had a rookie test and we had to go run around the track and you missed qualifying the first day. You had to qualify the second day, so I qualified and the longest race I think I’d ever run was a 200-lapper around a half-mile track, so I started that race and I just ran and ran and thought, ‘My gosh these guys could wreck down here. Holy smoke.’ They tore up a bunch of cars and it was typical Darlington. It was wild.

   "The race lasted forever.  hat was the longest race I ever ran in my life, so we ran the race and I finally looked up to see how many laps were left. I was trying to figure out how many laps were left and finally the thing ended and I never thought to look at the scoreboard and I finished fourth. I’m going to the garage and Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison came over and congratulated me and I thought that was the coolest thing."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richard Petty Motorsports needs to find a new home

   Richard Petty Motorsports is in the process of finding a new home for next season after the facility it currently uses in Concord, N.C., has been sold, a team spokesman confirmed.

   RPM, which fields two fulltime Sprint Cup Series teams, is currently housed on Zephyr Place NW near the Concord Regional Airport. The organization moved to its current location from Statesville, N.C., in 2010.

   The organization is in the process of looking at several different facilities, team officials confirmed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Owners of Carolina Motorsports Park plan to sell

   The owners of Carolina Motorsports Park, a road racing facility located in Kershaw, S.C., announced Wednesday they plan to sell the 280-acre property on U.S. 521. The facility contains a 2.27-mile road course and a .7-mile karting track.
   "The past 15 years have been a lot of fun but our ownership group is at a different life stage now and we think it's time to hand the keys over to the next generation," said Carolina Motorsports Park managing director David Palmer.
  "The facility continues to be financially sound so while bittersweet, it's our goal to find the right person or group to further develop this regional asset."
   The course opened in 1999 and weekdays the road course is primarily used for race team practice, car manufacturer testing, TV show and commercial filming as well as law enforcement training. Weekends are busy with auto and motorcycle races, track time events and driver education. In recent years several NASCAR teams have tested at CMP in preparation for their road course events.
   "It's the only course of its kind in the Carolinas, I think it's the best kept secret around," said retired NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.
   In 2015, Carolina Motorsports Park will host The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals, one of the premier annual events in Karting. For investor inquiries, email David Palmer dpalmer@carolinamotorsportspark.com.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Darrell Waltrip: 'It's unfortunate (Tony) Stewart got dragged into this'


  On Tuesday, NASCAR fined Brad Keselowski $50,000 and Tony Stewart $25,000 for their respective involvement in the post-race incidents after Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

   Stewart's involvement at the time went largely unnoticed considering the fight that subsequently erupted in the garage area between Keselowski and Matt Kenseth. After his car was hit in a bottleneck at the entrance to pit road, Stewart put his car in reverse and drove it into the front of Keselowski's car, doing substantial damage.

   Because of Stewart's involvement in a sprint car incident over the summer that resulted in the death of another driver, mainstream news media has been hammering on Stewart's involvement in this incident since.

   Former NASCAR champion and Hall of Fame driver Darrell Waltrip was asked about Stewart being back in the national spotlight. Here was his response:

   “For all kinds of reasons, it’s unfortunate Stewart got dragged into this. Because of the incident in New York, the media know who Stewart is, saw what happened and jumped to their own conclusions and made judgments," he said. "That’s unfortunate because Stewart had nothing to do with what happened on Saturday night." 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Three NASCAR drivers who've performed best during the Chase aren't in it


  It's not a new phenomenon, but remains an interesting one.

   Three of the drivers in the Top 10 of points scored so far during the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup aren't even participating in it.

   Here's the most recent Top 10 of points scored following Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Driver
Total Points Awarded
1
Joey Logano
215
2
Kyle Larson
203
3
Kevin Harvick
198
4
Kyle Busch
190
5
Jeff Gordon
182
6
Martin Truex Jr
169
7
Ryan Newman
168
8
Brad Keselowski
166
9
Carl Edwards
161
10
Jamie McMurray
161