TV Times – There’s a Sad “Anybody But Jimmie” Crowd Out There
After winning the Southern 500 at Darlington the other week, Jimmie Johnson backed it up and bounced back with a vengeance after he won the NASCAR All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway along with another $1 million prize!
All that means that the other contenders on the Sprint Cup circuit have to be concerned about his prowess. Also, the “Anybody But Jimmie” crowd better watch out because this could all be the beginning of hot streak for the former off-road driver from the left coast.
The All Star win was the results of some careful strategy between himself and crew chief Chad Knaus who made adjustments turned out to be the right combination. He ended up leading the last ten laps. Second place went to Brad Keselowski who got the leftovers. Other notables worth mentioning saw Earnhardt, Jr., finish fifth, Kurt Busch eighth and Jeff Gordon 15th. Kyle Busch was the pole winner.
A night earlier, Justin Loftin won the Camping World Truck race beating Keselowski and Todd Bodine for the top three. Lofton leads the division’s point chase, and It was his first visit to Victory Lane. The NASCAR Nationwide Series was performing at the Iowa Speedway where Rick Stenhouse, Jr., won that one, while Danica Patrick crashed after a good qualifying run.
Elsewhere, Ryan Briscoe won the Indy 500 pole at IMS for team owner Roger Penske. Steve Kinser won the World of Outlaw race at Orange County Speedway in NY. Bobby Santos of Franklin passed up the Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Connecticut’s Thompson International Speedway. Instead, he raced at the Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indy where he won the USAC Silver Crown feature event. Alan Johnson won the Pro Stock final at the Topeka Dragway in Kansas during the NHRA Full Throttle National. In the opening round of the AMA National MotoX Series in Sacramento, CA, Bubba Stewart ran away with that event.
With major cutbacks hitting the Pentagon from Congress, all of the US military sponsorships could go “bye bye”, say those in the know. Andretti Racing, a pillar of the IZOD Indy Car Series, is said to be looking very carefully at fielding a NASCAR team with Dodge power and livery for the 2013 season.
Are the NASCAR Sprint Cup races too long? Rhode Island born Humpy Wheeler, former President of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, thinks so. “I’ve promoted many of the Coca Cola 600′s over the years, and I think that many of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races need to have the distances pared,” he said on the Speed Channel. Larry McReynolds and Robin Miller, Speed’s resident experts, concur. It wasn’t that long ago that JR said that these long races have to be shortened up.
McReynolds was also vocal about the the top 35 point finishers locking in guaranteed starts the following season. “It has to be looked at.”
Our lead paragraph in last week’s column got the attention of the Speed Network front office. PR rep for that cable channel, Erik Arneson, gave his explanation of what happened following Speed’s broadcast of the F1 GP from Barcelona Spain when the channel began airing a Premier Soccer game. It also pre-empted the post race press interview of the top three finishers which has always been a tradition of Speed’s F1 telecasts.
That event, coupled with all the rumors of the Speed Channel becoming an all sports network for some time, triggered our slant on the situation. “Believe me, not saying it isn’t something that’s floated around out there since about 2009 … but at this point … my only point is that this one-off event that crossed over ALL of the FOX Sports properties is not part of that process at all … since FOX does not label their networks Fox1, Fox2, Fox3 like ESPN, I believe one of the goals was simply to showcase the FOX family of sports networks … just wanted to make sure you had all the background – certainly (your) welcome to your opinion,” wrote Arneson.
We sent a reply to Erik’s e-mail which pretty much stated that “My story will stand until I see a (Speed Channel) news release that states that the Speed Channel will remain intact with most all motorsports programming.” We also wrote to Arneson that “in my limited time covering motorsports since 1964, that most times those persistent rumors, over time, eventually came true.”
This weekend is the biggest of the motor racing season with the premier Indy 500 at IMS and the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Check Jayski.com for all of the details plus what else is going on this very busy weekend.
Note: Information for this story came from press releases and indicated sources as well as personal notes.
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