Happy Hour: Dover, and, yes, Danica

Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg. We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. Right? Oh who are we kidding, this is NASCAR. No one is ever happy.

Before we start this week's mailbag, this is one hell of a summer weekend of motorsports coming up. And it's structured perfectly if you need to get stuff done around the house. Friday night's the Truck Series race and then Saturday night we've got the Nationwide Series and the IndyCar Series at the same time, allowing all day to get your errands and tasks done. And then of course, we've got the PARTY IN THE POCONOS!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!!!!

I always hear the same thing about JJ/Chad and the "Evil Empire" that is Hendrick motorsports. I cant tell you how many times I have had to hear and put up with the whole "NASCAR is Set Up" so that JJ will win! Well I hope this finally shuts them up! The fact is that JPM didnt go on the restart and then he spun his tires, JJ waited for the flagman and when he displayed the green, Jimmy punched it. The fact that JPM has NEVER been up front for a restart and spun his tires on the PREFERRED line is not even being discussed...only that JJ entered the "Start Box" ahead of JPM. With all the advancements in technology that NASCAR has at their disposal, why is it that they DONT have a laser or something to definitively show the fans that that indeed was the case? Instead, all we have are 2 very HORRIBLE camera angles(one is from like the other side of the track) to see is Robin Pemperton is telling the truth. Bottom line is(JPM said it himself in an interview)..JJ got a perfect start, JPM spun his tires badly, and its a shame because JJ had the dominate car out there! So please all of you NASCAR conspiracy theorists, stop saying that NASCAR sets it up so that JJ will win.....cause its obvious that is a bunch of BULL!
- K

Tony Stewart was gracious in praising Juan Pablo Montoya for not blocking with 3 to go. Montoya was either being a courteous driver or was pretty sure Smoke would have wrecked him if he tried. You can call that one either way.

Post race, JPM blamed the loss on bad pit strategy (old left tires), and later added that track position dictated that call. Regardless, he threw his crew chief under the bus on that one, and that's not NASCAR teamwork, it's F1 "Teamwork"

I don't like the penalty on the 48 for jumping the last restart. Whether JPM spun his tires or held up so he wouldn't pass Johnson before the first turn, NASCAR will have trouble with this precedent. They're setting up a strategy where the leader checks up before the start finish line, and doesn't go until turn 1 with the rest of the field behind him trying to get going. It will get rid of the guy in 2nd, but it will cause a lot of wrecks.
- John

Hey now, K, there's no reason to disparage Montoya in all of this. He was up front for a restart in the late stages of the race at Richmond this April. And that wasn't the first time he's been near the front either.

I understand why Jimmie Johnson fans would be mad about what happened on Sunday, but it's pretty cut and dry. Had Johnson given Montoya back the spot, he doesn't get the penalty. And you know what? He likely gets that spot back given how well that car was performing.

Instead, Johnson didn't give the spot back, he got penalized and them's the brakes. (Or breaks, whatever you want to say.) Was it gamesmanship by Montoya to not let Johnson give that spot back on the frontstretch if Vader was indeed half-throttle? Possibly. But that's no different than the gamesmanship that typically happens on a restart anyway, so that's fair game as far as I'm concerned.

As far as Montoya throwing his team under the bus, I didn't think that at all after the race. He was matter of fact why his car slowed down over the final laps and that was that. Stewart had newer left-side tires and that very well could have been the difference.

If he keeps showing the speed that's been present in the first 13 races, Montoya is going to win a race this season.


Any idea on how long it will be before Newman is in ARCA?

I am a huge fan, but this is getting bad. I know Danica is a major distraction at Stewart-Haas, but in reality Ryan simply doesn't seem up to it anymore. The fact that he was even close enough to the #38 at Dover to dump him (2 laps down) speaks volumes. In all honesty, I can't see him at SHR next year. Can you?
- Chris

Yikes, that's a bold statement, don't you think?I was struck a couple weeks ago when on the Fox pre-race, that when the discussion turned to Newman, it was treated like a foregone conclusion that he was going to be out at Stewart-Haas next year.

That's not really surprising; it's very well-known that Newman is on a one-year contract and Kevin Harvick is heading over to SHR in 2014. Plus, those comments were before SHR officials were publicly talking about the strain of three full-time cars on the organization.

Now with those remarks in mind, it's logical to see how Newman could be the odd driver out at the organization, especially given the sponsorship gaps at that team. If SHR had such an issue expanding to three, are they going to want to immediately expand to four?

So let's say for a second that SHR does stay at three cars next year and with Harvick's arrival, Newman's contract isn't renewed. Where does he go? That's a damn good question. Kurt Busch is the odds-on favorite to replace Harvick and Brian Vickers will likely be in the No. 55. Roush, Gibbs and Penske all have room to expand, though the dreaded s-word would be an issue. In that scenario, Furniture Row would be open and they have the benefit of a full-time sponsor.


Been a reader for some time but first time asking a question. Been a NASCAR fan for years, well decades., beginning in the ‘70s.

With Kyle Busch’s win in the truck race this past weekend a thought came to mind. He has won a lot of races between the three series. Would you consider him “the best” or “one of the best” or just that he has that many wins because he races in all three series? I’m not sure I’d place him on any kind of pedestal. After all, the truck and Nationwide series are more like the minor leagues, wouldn’t you say? Sort of like a major league baseball star playing on minor league and college teams.

I just wonder how many wins someone like Richard Perry, Earnhardt, Sr., etc., would have if they raced in all three series. Probably could even include people like Johnson, Gordon, and a few others as well. I know that the Sprint Cup drivers being in those races probably puts butts in the seats, but I think it takes away from the up and coming drivers who are trying to earn spots, show their stuff, etc.
- George

While Busch was dominating the Nationwide Series race at Dover (a race he didn't win), I did some quick math on his winning trends for the hell of it. He's signed for the near future at Joe Gibbs Racing, and if he stays at the same win rate that he's been at for his JGR and Kyle Busch Motorsports career, he's going to get his 200th NASCAR victory at the ripe old age of 33. Yes, 33.

I continually struggle to put that into context and likely won't be able to until Busch gets really close to that number. Busch is driving in a much more competitive Sprint Cup Series era than his record-book peers when you look at the NASCAR win column. And that argument of competitiveness could also stretch to the Nationwide Series and Truck Series too. Though I'm not sure how rock-solid it would be.

However, Busch does have an advantage compared to those historical peers -- the number of races available to him. If he wants to, he could compete in 91 races between the three series this year. The longest Cup Series season of Petty's career was 62 races and there were only 50+ races in 60 seasons. Does quantity dilute the achievement? There are so many factors.

It's an argument that has no right answer and likely will never have one.


As a race fan I've always admired the raw talent of Kurt Busch. Recently I've noticed when I wear my #78 FRR tee shirts. I get numerous remarks from folks saying "that fella puts on a show" and the like. So, I'm wondering why are fans suddenly connecting with him? Performance? His support of our veterans? The likeable brother? Successfully overcoming past personal mistakes off the track?
- Rick

Rick, you're the first person in this mailbag space to call Shrub likeable. Kyle sells a lot of merchandise and is much more popular than a lot of people realize (similar to a certain female driver), but it's a sparsely used adjective, at least from our From the Marbles gang.

The attention that Kurt Busch has drawn this year has surprised me a little bit. Is it the second (third?) chance aspect? We joke about what will befall Busch next in his quest to win a race, but the perception and reaction of when he does get back to victory lane will be very intriguing to watch.


Why are you so obsessed with Danica? Don't you realize that most serious race fans think she's a total joke? Please do not tell me your just doing your job. The novelty is long over. Please don not tell me "well it got your attention". No, I'm just tired of all the Danica stories instead of actual racing news. Tell me that you will stop pandering to this nonsense and put the effort into reporting on something worth reading. You and I both know that if Danica was male she/he's be lucky to scrape the nickles together to run in the SCCA.

What's that, Hayes? (DANICA!) Are you talking about (DANICA!) a driver in the Sprint (DANICA!) Cup Series? (DANICA!)

(On a serious note, I thought comrade Jay Busbee took the appropriate tone with the Danica and Stenhouse crash post last week. It was certainly something that it was a top story on entertainment sites on Memorial Day.)

People like to read about Danica. Lots of other people read Danica stories too. The easiest way to prevent Danica coverage is to refuse to pay attention to it. That's by not clicking stories, watching features, etc. But the people who dislike Danica (or say that they dislike the coverage) aren't doing that. Or Danica is a whole lot more popular than you think she is. Simply put, people pay attention. Until they stop, Danica coverage isn't going anywhere.

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