Tag Archives: Michael Waltrip Racing

What I Hate About NASCAR

On opening day of the first Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway the Michael Waltrip Racing team of Clint Bowyer was found to have beveled washers that would allow travel of the Track Bar under load; that is what I heard but it wasn’t really documented. This was caught in the initial inspections and the No. 15 team was subsequently fined and penalized by NASCAR.

The original penalty assessed included a $75,000 fine, three-race suspension and six months’ probation for Billy Scott (Crew Chief) and loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points to both Robert Kauffman and Clint Bowyer. This more or less effectively takes that team out of the Chase.

On many occasions NASCAR has penalized a team with only a reference to some obscure rule leaving the rest of us to only wonder.

Today those fines and penalties were upheld under NASCAR’s appeal process which was expected. This is what I hate about NASCAR. I think that everyone, fans, teams, and media could learn more about the technical aspects of both the inspection process and what NASCAR intends for completion by knowing exactly what was done and why it hurts completion.

Maybe it is just the engineer in me coming out, but some pictures would be nice. A virtual demonstration on how this would help the car would be too cool. Think about it. The MWR teams thought that they were with-in the rules, so much so that they appealed. If they think they are that close shouldn’t we all be left to know and understand what they actually did and what that means for competition?

I can see NASCAR’s point of view, do they really need more Sunday morning quarterbacks? That makes sense but here I am. Here is the one thing I think that they are not thinking about. If we see it and it is explained then if other teams do something similar then they have even less to stand on for appeal. The reason being that a simple google search would show that one just doesn’t do that because guys like me will write about it.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 312734 Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

NASCAR and SpongeBob SquarePants It Just Makes Sense

This week NASCAR returns to the Kansas Speedway for the for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 Sprint Cup Series race. In addition to being the title sponsor of the race there will be cars featuring some of the characters.

The kids cable channel Nickelodeon is sponsoring the race and featuring one of their most popular shows SpongeBob SquarePants. NASCAR racing is lots of fun but how about adding in some guaranteed fun including some specially painted cars.

Greg Biffle, driving the No. 16 Cheez-It/ Patrick Star Ford Fusion

Michael McDowell, driving the No. 95 WRL/Larry the Lobster Ford Fusion

Casey Mears, driving the No. 13 Squidward Tentacles Chevrolet SS

David Ragan, driving the No. 55 Aarons/SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Camry

It is sad that because of sponsorship issues there aren’t more cars getting in on the fun and getting painted up with some of the other Bikini Bottom characters. We need Krusty Krab and Plankton. We could have a crew chief sporting the Sandy Cheeks character because in Bikini Bottom anything is possible even a scientist squirrel from Texas.

It’s really fun to be part of the Nickelodeon lineup for the Kansas race and get to feature Patrick Star and Cheez-It on our No. 16 Ford,” Biffle added, “Nickelodeon does a lot to bring sports to kids, which is something that is important and I’m glad to be a part of it.  Kansas is a good track for us and Saturday night races are always exciting.  Hopefully we can get another Kansas win.

Greg Biffle is on to something. Call it a gimmick or just special sponsorship, adding some extra fun to the whole NASCAR race makes it more memorable. If this can bring more fans to the sport and great memories; than this is a win for everyone.

Let’s keep the SpongeBob SquarePants fun going, nominate the driver you think should be Gary in the comment section below and remember “Life is EXTREME as you wanna MAKE IT.”

If you cannot make it to the Kansas Speedway for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 it will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, May 9 2015 at 7 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing You Tube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XjE4PggdY4

Jimmie Johnson with his SpongeBob Fire Suit at Charlotte in 2004. Credit: 85113 Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson with his SpongeBob Fire Suit at Charlotte in 2004.
Credit: 85113 Sherryl Creekmore/NASCAR

Brian Vickers will Miss the Beginning of the Season, Who should be in?

It was announced by Michael Waltrip Racing that Brian Vickers had surgery to replace a patch in his heart and will miss the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR season. It is not known how many races or how deep into the season he will be out. It also has not been announced who will temporarily replace him.

It only makes sense that the boss, Michael Waltrip, drive the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the Daytona 500 and race at Talladega but what about after that?  Why not take a very sad story and make it into a happy one? How about rotating some new talented drivers and stars of the Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series. This would help those drivers and the sport in general by providing some additional exposure.

The first race after Daytona is Atlanta Motor Speedway. The reigning Camping World Truck Series Champion, Matt Crafton would be a great addition to run with the Sprint Cup regulars at the fast, tire eating, 1.5 mile speedway.

The next three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California would be a great place to show off Daniel Suarez, a young development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing who is driving his first full season in the Xfinity Series.

The short Paper Clip track, Martinsville Speedway shares the next weekend with the Truck Series. Erik Jones driving his first full season in the Truck Series would be a great story. He has three top ten finishes in three starts in the Xfinity Series but more impressive he has four wins in 22 starts in the Truck Series. It would be great to see what he could do with those Cup guys.

That takes the team deep into the Sprint Cup Season. Other drivers to consider if Brian Vickers misses more races would be Jeb Burton who currently doesn’t have a full time ride. If he misses races into June then John Hunter Nemechek, winner of the recently run Snowball Derby, can run after his 18th birthday.

We can’t wait to have Brian Vickers back. No one wants to see a drive have to miss out racing due to injury or health issues but it would be great to see it as an opportunity to showcase up and coming talent and veterans of the other Series.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 302427 Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images

So Where is Greg Biffle Going?

This past week at Dover International Speedway during the NASCAR on FOX prerace show Gas N Go segment Chris Myers asked the Waltrips, Michael and Darrell (DW), are Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle leaving Roush and where do they go? Well just like a few weeks ago when DW seemed to know where Carl Edwards was going, he proceeded to throw Biffle into the Silly Season deep end.

Darrell Waltrip said, “Here’s my prediction, Carl (Edwards) will stay with Ford, I don’t know if it will be with Roush or I might be with Penske but he will stay with Ford.

Then Darrell throws Greg Biffle in the deep end. He put his hand on his brother Michael’s shoulder and continues, “and Greg Biffle will go with some two car team, that maybe one time had a third car.

Michael looks at the camera and quickly adds, “I think Carl goes and Greg Stays, I think Biffle stays at Roush he’s going to the veteran, the anchor to that rookie lineup for the young guys who are going to race at Roush.

Many writers and analysts seam to take this as Greg is leaving for Michael Waltrip Racing, who just last year had three teams.  Just like a few weeks ago where DW all but had Carl Edwards say he was going to Joe Gibbs Racing this too might be a bit premature. It might just be DW stirring the pot in order to make great TV… Or is it something else entirely?

I think that everyone was reading DW’s signs to his brother Michael wrong. It looked to me like a brother telling his brother, “Go ahead you can do this.”

I think it means that Michael Waltrip had told or asked his brother DW recently in confidence if they should make a go at trying to get Greg Biffle. It also might just be DW saying you need a third car and here is a “Cat” that you should be looking at.

Either way Silly Season is in full swing. The more Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle get put into play the more Silly it is going to get.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 287149 Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images