Kurt Busch’s outbursts may not play well with NASCAR officials, but they have attracted the interest of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
The show’s producers have reached out to Busch and Phoenix Racing about sponsoring the No. 51 Chevrolet, Fox Sports reported and the team later confirmed. Talks have progressed far to the point where the Springer producers are exploring NASCAR demographics and the team already has created a paint scheme to promote the show.
Springer, the former mayor of Cincinnati, built an empire with a tabloid show that seems to encourage bizarre behavior of its guests and fans, apparently felt Busch played well to his fan base. Busch has been fined by NASCAR several times for his behavior and fired by his last two teams – Roush Fenway Racing and Penske Racing. He was suspended from last week’s race at the Pocono Raceway after berating a reporter a week earlier.
Pocono’s speed trap
Many race teams are questioning the speed traps at the Pocono Raceway after there were 22 spending penalties handed out during last Sunday’s race, which easily beating the NASCAR record of 14 set in 2006 at the Kansas Speedway.
The track was repaved since last year and the timing loops installed on pit road were different, NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton said. That probably led some drivers to believe they were under the 55 mph speed limit.
“This track’s gone under a lot of reconfiguration since last year,” Pemberton said. “It’s all brand-new pit road, all brand-new loops. Positions have been changed since last year. Sections are smaller than they were last year throughout pit road, and actually the last section’s a little bit bigger.
“But the bottom line is, every week when we go into a race track, there’s maps that are printed back here for the crew chiefs to come get. Some choose to get ‘em, some choose to measure their own lines and some go off of last year’s measurements.”
The final segment was extended from 56 to 83 feet, which likely fooled some they were cleared too soon to accelerate.
Five drivers – Travis Kvapil, Jimmie Johnson, David Reutimann, Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger – made up for 13 of the violations.
“I got nailed twice, and I know a lot of other guys got nailed,” Johnson said. “There is something wrong with the timing loop.”
“There was one section where the majority was getting caught,” Keselowski said. “It was obvious that the section had some kind of issue because I know both times I got busted, I was under the limit with my tools that I have available.“
Ford’s better idea
After unveiling its new race car last January, Ford already has made a changes before it ever hit the track.
Engineers made small changes to the front of the car to “add more personality and detail to the race car,” Ford design manager Garen Nichoghosian said.
Among the changes were changes to the fog light housings, headlight and front grille areas to better resemble the production version of the 2013 Fusion.
The front hood also was altered to be “more aggressive.”
Manufacturers were told to overhaul their cars for next season to better resemble what fans see on showroom floors. NASCAR wants to return to brand identity after using common templates for years.
Ford is allowed to tweak the Fusion until it’s submitted to NASCAR for final approval later this year.
Toyota had redesigned its Camry for 2013, while Chevrolet will switch to an Australian-built sedan called the Chevrolet SS. Dodge will race the Charger.