Tag Archives: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch Doesn’t Like the Emphasis Being Given to Younger Drivers

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch created quite a stir a couple of weeks ago when he was asked if there was an emphasis on the younger generation of drivers and whether it bothered him.

It is bothersome. We’ve paid our dues, and our sponsors have and everything else, and all you’re doing is advertising all these younger guys for fans to figure out and pick up on and choose as their favorite driver.” Busch added, “I think it’s stupid. But I don’t know, I’m not the marketing genius that’s behind this deal. You know, I just do what I can do, and my part of it is what my part is. I guess one thing that can be said is probably the younger guys are bullied into doing more things than the older guys are because we say no a lot more because we’ve been there, done that and have families, things like that, and want to spend as much time as we can at home. You know, maybe that’s some of it. But you know, it’s some of these marketing campaigns and things like that, pushing these younger drivers, is I wouldn’t say all that fair.

In 2001 Kyle Busch drove the No. 99 Ford Truck in what was then the Craftsman Truck Series in six races. He was 16. He had two top ten finishes; finishing ninth in his first race at IRP and last race at this home track at Las Vegas. He could not race at California as the tobacco company who sponsored the race objected to a 16-year-old racing.

In December of 2001, NASCAR enacted a rule that all drivers had to be 18 years old in order to compete in all three-top series. Kyle Busch was not able to race in 2002 and until his 18th birthday in May of 2003. Roush was not able to hold the 99 Truck open in 2003 for Busch as they had another great driver, Carl Edwards, available.

If only NASCAR found a way to embrace young talented drivers. Such as finding ways for the sponsor to change the message such as the “21 means 21” message when a driver under 21 would win the Coors Light Pole.

On Twitter and at the track, I have met a lot of Kyle Busch fans. They are very passionate. They are also very young. When I say young; I mean under 30 young. The demographic that NASCAR needs and wants.

Oh, what could have been. Imagine how much more phenomenal Kyle would be had he been able to compete in the Truck Series in 2002 and 2003. Could this have brought more attention to NASCAR? Could this have brought even more young fans to NASCAR?

Kyle Busch is right. NASCAR is putting an emphasis on the younger drivers. They must in order to keep the series fresh. It is not a slight on the seasoned veterans and their sponsors; who as Busch said “paid our dues”. More eye balls watching is good for everyone. That is the goal.

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

 Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 352835 Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is upon us. Last year was the inaugural year for Monster Energy and stage point racing in NASCAR. Martin Truex Jr. took advantage of the stage wins (19) and was able to use them to vault himself to win his Championship. The big question is will the other drivers give more respect to those stage wins and make racing even better in 2018?

NASCAR has made some significant changes to the schedule. The Brickyard 400 will end the regular season. The Playoff opener will no longer start in Chicago; it will kick off in Las Vegas. This will be followed up at the ¾ mile short track at Richmond VA. But that is nothing though compared to NASCAR taking the third race in the Playoff to the road course of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Not only will this be the first road course race in the playoff but also the first run at Charlotte.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
11-Feb Daytona 500 Qualifying FOX 12 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
11-Feb The Clash at DIS FS1 3 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
15-Feb The Duel Qualifying Races at DIS FS1 7 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Feb DAYTONA 500 FOX 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
25-Feb Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
4-Mar Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
11-Mar ISM Raceway (Phoenix) FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Mar Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
25-Mar Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
8-Apr Texas Motor Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
15-Apr Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
21-Apr Richmond Raceway FOX 6:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
29-Apr Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
6-May Dover International Speedway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
12-May Kansas Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
19-May All-Star Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 6 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
19-May All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway FS1 8 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
27-May Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX 6 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
3-Jun Pocono Raceway FS1 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
10-Jun Michigan International Speedway FOX 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
24-Jun Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
1-Jul Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
7-Jul Daytona International Speedway NBC 7 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
14-Jul Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
22-Jul New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
29-Jul Pocono Raceway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
5-Aug Watkins Glen International NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
12-Aug Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Aug Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
2-Sep Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
9-Sep Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET IMS/SiriusXM
16-Sep Las Vegas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
22-Sep Richmond Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
30-Sep Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
7-Oct Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
14-Oct Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
21-Oct Kansas Speedway NBC 2 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
28-Oct Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
4-Nov Texas Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. ET PRN/SiriusXM
11-Nov ISM Raceway (Phoenix) NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM
18-Nov Homestead Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. ET MRN/SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Don’t forget to check out to see if there is a companion event for the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Hope to see you there.

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

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 352951 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR Racing Begins with ARCA Racing in More Ways Than One

The seemingly long off season for Stock Car racing is almost over. The season actually begins with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards opening at Daytona International Speedway. The  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with open with their exhibition race The Clash at Daytona several hours later. But in some ways NASCAR Cup racing begins with ARCA racing.

In years past many future Monster Energy NASCAR Cup stars got their start in the ARCA Racing Series. Ryan Newman won this race in 2001, Kyle Busch in 2004 and James Buescher in 2009 but many others got important experience by racing this race and in this series.

In 2014, Cup driver Chase Elliott started fifth and finished ninth in this race. Daniel Suarez was also in this race started third and finished fifth. Suarez was also in the race in 2015 starting sixth and finishing second.

Last year we had some future NASCAR stars in this race; NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer (10th) and William Byron (2nd), also NASCAR Camping World Truck driver Chase Briscoe (4th). Camping World Truck driver Grant Enfinger won this race in 2014 and 2015.

This year we have Xfinity Driver Matt Tifft in this race.  20 year old Tifft was a NASCAR Next driver in 2016.  17 year old Riley Herbst driving full time in the ARCA series for Joe Gibbs Racing will also be a rising star to watch.

John Wes Townley won this race last year and retired from all racing at the end of the season.

As always though these big money NASCAR teams will have to contend with the ARCA regulars like eight time winner of this race Bobby Gerhart in his legendary No. 5 Lucas Oil Machine.

If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards; Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire it will be shown on Fox Sports 1 on February 18th at 4 PM ET.

Feature Photo Credit ARCA Racing

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

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

In NASCAR it is all about Rules, Embrace them!

As we enter the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series there are a lot of rules changes. Many will think that this series is totally different than it was in 2016. The biggest change is how points are awarded and carried into the Chase for the Cup. The other change is the running of races in segments and awarding points for leading those segments. Gone are points for leading a lap. If you are not up to speed with these changes read these from Dustin Long at NBC.

If you have watched NASCAR for a while you know that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus are the gold standard to using the NASCAR rule book to their advantage. They have embraced the Chase format and taken advantage of it like no other team.

In football there is a reason there are 4 downs, a two minute warning, half time and each team has a limited amount of time outs. It is all about controlling TV time and the commercials that pay for it and keeping the fans attention. Whether you like it or not, Brian France has made these changes to balance the whole viewing experience.

People for years have argued that too many green flag laps were lost during commercials. Many have also criticized the sometimes monotonous green flag laps of single file racing that occurs at the larger tracks. Another criticism is that since some races are very long it appears that many drivers are just biding their time waiting for “Go Time” to actually race. Whether that is true or not only they know but some people think that.

Last year’s big change was the addition of a Caution Clock in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Yes it impacted racing but did it kill it. I think because it was apparent they were on the clock it made the racing better and didn’t detract from it. All in all it made the experience better.

Two years ago I was at Daytona for the 500. Approximately 1/3 of the way in I had to use the facilities and couldn’t wait for a caution flag. While I was behind the stands in the relative quiet I talked with some people and had a cocktail for ten minutes. If you know Daytona I missed perhaps 10 laps. It was refreshing to take a break, take the head phones off and chill. Why I never did that in 16 years of going to races I don’t know.

I’m looking at these segments as just that. A time to reflect on what’s happened, perhaps chat with friends you are with about it; charge back up and enjoy the race. Embrace the Change, you may just like it!

Feature Photo Credit: 305378 Robert Laberge/Getty Images

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

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Loves Travel Stops Continues Sponsoring the No. 34 with Landon Cassill

Landon Cassill was spotted getting his new 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford Fusion serviced at a Loves in Salisbury North Carolina today.

Front Row Motorsports announced in December that Landon Cassill would be back driving for them this coming season but would switch from their number 38 Ford to the number 34. Cassill, in his first season driving for Front Row had seven top-20 finishes but more importantly finished 98% of the total laps.

Cassill posted an emotional farewell on his Facebook page saying his goodbye to the No. 38 and hello to change. Set to Toto’s song Africa he held up flash cards talking about this change.

It was my choice. A choice for my family, my team, my sponsors and my car owner. The original FRM legacy. The number that signifies a small team going to the big leagues. The number that has seen victory lane. Twice. It’s ok to cry. But remember were here to evolve and inspire. I can’t wait for 2017, and I know we will find a fun, new campaign even better than the 2016.” Landon Cassill via flash cards.

Front Row Motorsports is continuing their relationship with Roush Fenway and Roush Yates Engines. They are bringing David Ragan, who got their first win in the No. 34, back to drive the No. 38.

Loves Travel Stops sponsored the number 34 last year for 18 races with Chris Buescher. It appears from the picture that they are continuing their sponsorship for 2017. We will know how many races sometime in the coming weeks.

Feature Photo Credit: John Vass

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

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.