Nick Bromberg

  • Jeff Gordon says 'loosely' he'll 'be here as long as they need me'

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 13 mins ago

    Jeff Gordon left the possibility open that he could fill in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. for more than two races if Hendrick Motorsports continues to need a substitute driver for the No. 88 car.

    Junior is missing his third race Sunday because of concussion-like symptoms and said earlier in the week he would head to doctors after the Pocono race for progress update. When HMS said Gordon would fill in at Indianapolis last week, it also said Gordon would be the team’s driver at Pocono.

    I tell you after going through what I went through at Indy I have a much greater appreciation for [New Hampshire fill-in driver Alex Bowman] because that was one of the toughest things I ever did. Not just getting in the race car after eight months, but trying to fill-in for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. knowing the kind of attention that it gets. My heart was beating out of my chest because of the pressure and the eyes that were on you as much as just not being in the car … I will be here as long as they need me. I say that very loosely.”

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @NickBromberg

  • Happy Hour: Your responses to Indy's race attendance and more

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 22 hrs ago

    It’s time for Happy Hour. As always, tweet us your thoughts or shoot us an email at happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com if you want to participate.

    A couple housekeeping notes before we get to your feedback from what we wrote about attendance at Indianapolis on Sunday.

    NASCAR said Thursday that it’s going to run the lower downforce 2017 rules preview at Michigan in August. The move makes sense given that the lower downforce rules were in effect at Michigan earlier this year. There’s no point in making teams run two different rules configurations at the same track.

    It’s also making some safety improvements when it comes to the area around a driver’s feet to protect the lower extremities. In hard front-impact crashes, bodywork and pedals, etc can be forced towards the driver’s body (how Kyle Busch suffered his injuries in 2015). With some reinforcements and rules changes, NASCAR hopes to do what it can to prevent other drivers from suffering lower body injuries in vicious accidents.

    Now on to your emails and tweets.

    The Chase is also not going anywhere.

    ——-

    ——-

    My take? The ignorant fan base is destroying the sport. – Lorraine

    Anyone agree with Lorraine?

    ——-

    – – – – – – –

  • NASCAR pushes back numerous race start times in 2017

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 1 day ago

    If you like your racing later in the day, you’re going to be happy to see the 2017 NASCAR schedule.

    NASCAR released the start times of Sprint Cup Series races on Wednesday and many races, including the Daytona 500, will start an hour or so later than they do in 2016. The Daytona 500, on Feb. 26, will have a start time of 2 p.m. ET. The green flag for the 2016 500 was just after 1 p.m.

    Sunset in Daytona on Feb. 26 is at 6:22 ET, so it’s unlikely the race will end under darkness without a delay or a bunch of cautions.

    The answer for the later start times is simple. So simple that NASCAR itself was even willing to mention it. More people watch television later in the day, so the goal is to improve television ratings, which have seen declines in recent years.

    Here’s the start times of all the races in 2017. NBC only has one race that starts at 1 p.m. ET and that’s the fall Martinsville race. If the half-mile track had lights, you can bet it would start later. 17 races had their times pushed back.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @NickBromberg

  • Target leaving IndyCar and Chip Ganassi Racing after 2016

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    The most recognizable IndyCar sponsorship is ending at the end of the year.

    Per the AP, Target will not return to Chip Ganassi Racing after the conclusion of the 2016 season. The company and team have had a sponsorship relationship for 27 years. The company has a new chairman and is looking at its sponsorship agreements per the report.

    From the AP:

    “It was a really difficult decision that we made — we’ve been with Chip Ganassi Racing for 27 years and we are ridiculously proud of the success,” [senior vice president Scott] Nygaard said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “But the Target brand is about being fresh and new, so we felt like this was the time to make the difficult decision and expand our sports marketing platform.”

    Nygaard also apparently didn’t give any hints about the company’s Sprint Cup Series sponsorship of Kyle Larson, which could mean some bad news at the end of next season for Ganassi’s No. 42 team.

    About the NASCAR sponsorship, Nygaard said only that Target is excited for the 2017 season with Larson. Target’s contract with Ganassi runs through next year.

  • Kevin Harvick's crew chief suspended for lug nut violation

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers has been suspended for a race for a lug nut violation at Indianapolis on Sunday.

    NASCAR announced the penalty on Wednesday in yet another example of the incongruity of some NASCAR rules. Childers, as has become standard since NASCAR changed its rules and penalties regarding lug nut violations in April, was suspended for a race after NASCAR found not all 20 lug nuts (five per wheel) were tight after the Brickyard 400.

    At the race prior (New Hampshire), Matt Kenseth’s car failed post-race inspection. Kenseth won the race. Yet NASCAR simply penalized Kenseth 15 points and fined crew chief Jason Ratcliff, who was not suspended.

    Childers noted that on Twitter after the penalty was announced. He’s been Harvick’s crew chief since the driver joined Stewart-Haas Racing from Richard Childress Racing in 2014 and the two won the championship that season.

    — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) July 27, 2016

    – – – – – – –

  • Watch the in-car camera from Brad Keselowski's head-on testing crash (Video)

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Brad Keselowski was evaluated and released from the Watkins Glen care center after a nasty wreck during testing on Tuesday.

    Keselowski hit the wall head on in turn 1, which is a downhill 90-degree right-hand turn after a long straightaway. Keselowski posted the onboard footage from his car, and according to the telemetry, he was going almost 100 MPH at the time of impact.

    I'm ok! pic.twitter.com/Cu9yPYQnFG

    — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) July 26, 2016

    This is what Keselowski’s car looked like from the outside after the crash. Thank goodness for that foam lining the steel barriers outside of the corner. He said he had a brake failure heading into the turn.

    NOT doing Facebook live today, Sorry. ???? pic.twitter.com/jpyX4ykNh7

    — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) July 26, 2016

    Thankfully Keselowski won’t have to race Sunday with an injured limb from this crash.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @NickBromberg

  • Reports: Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 2 days ago

    Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s eventful life has taken a scary turn.

    According to reports, Ecclestone’s mother-in-law was kidnapped in Brazil. Per Veja, the kidnappers of 67-year-old Aparecida Schunck are requesting a ransom of more than $36 million. If paid, it would be the largest known ransom payment in Brazil.

    Schunck, the mother of Ecclestone’s 38-year-old wife Fabiana Flosi, was reportedly kidnapped from her home in Sao Paulo. The kidnappers have also reportedly requested the ransom be paid in pounds sterling and divided into four bags.

    Ecclestone, 85, met Flosi when she was working for the Brazilian Grand Prix. He then divorced his wife at the time, Slavica Radic, in 2009 and married Flosi in 2012. Per Eurosport and the BBC,Ecclestone has not commented regarding the kidnapping reports.

    As the head of Formula 1, Ecclestone’s worth is estimated to be nearly $4 billion. He was robbed in 2010 while he was with Flosi outside of his London office and thieves took over $300,000 worth of jewelry.

    – – – – – – –

  • Power Rankings: Kyle Busch ascends to No. 1 after Indy win

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    Welcome to Power Rankings. As always, Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it’s the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. Direct all your complaints to us at happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com and we’ll try to have some fun.

    1. Kyle Busch (LW: 5): When you lead 149 of 170 laps and no one can come close to passing you for the lead on the track, then there’s no argument against being atop Power Rankings. It was a performance as dominant as Martin Truex Jr.’s at Charlotte; there’s clearly something the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas have hit on when it comes to the combination of deft handling and outright speed. Busch also became the first driver to win Xfinity and Cup Series races from the pole in the same weekend.

    2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 2): While Busch’s ass-kicking made the race boring for many, here’s a fun hypothetical. Who had the second-best car throughout the course of Sunday’s race? The argument can be made for many, including Harvick, who finished sixth. Harvick had to make his way through the field after he was forced to pit under green for what he thought was a flat tire. He ended up finishing sixth.

    Your browser does not support iframes.

  • Danny Stockman becomes Paul Menard's crew chief

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    Paul Menard will have a new crew chief for the final 16 races of 2016.

    Richard Childress Racing said Monday, a day after Menard finished 10th at Indianapolis, that Danny Stockman would serve as Menard’s crew chief for the rest of the season. Justin Alexander, Menard’s crew chief for the first 20 races of the year, will have a new role that’s announced in the near future, according to Fox.

    Menard is currently 23rd in the points standings, nine spots off where he finished in 2015 after making the Chase for the first time. Sunday’s top-10 at Indy was just his second of the season. His only other top-10 finish came at Martinsville when he finished eighth. He’s finished between 11th and 20th 11 times in 2016.

    Stockman has been serving as the crew chief for the No. 2 car in the Xfinity Series. The No. 2 car, driven by Austin Dillon, Ben Kennedy and Menard has finished in the top 10 in all but two of 18 races this season and Dillon won at Auto Club Speedway in March.

    – – – – – – –

    Follow @NickBromberg

  • Earnhardt Jr. heading to docs 'soon' for update to help determine Watkins Glen status

    Nick Bromberg at From The Marbles 3 days ago

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. will soon find out about his potential status for the Aug. 7 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.

    Earnhardt Jr. has missed the last two Cup races because of what Hendrick Motorsports has termed concussion-like symptoms and will miss Sunday’s race at Pocono while Jeff Gordon fills in.

    “I’m going for another evaluation here soon to see what kind of gains we’ve made, get in front of my doctors and let them get a good look at me and let them tell me where they think I’m at and that will help us make the decision on what we’re going to do for Watkins Glen. ” Junior said on his weekly podcast.

    He said he’d update his status on the podcast again after the Pocono race. Junior, who said he’d been experiencing balance issues and nausea, noted that the daily exercises he’s been doing for his symptoms range from 2-2.5 hours and some are ‘tough’ while others are ‘tedious.’

    “The balance deal is a critical part of being able to drive a race car,” Junior said.

    – – – – – – –