FOX Sports Exclusive
Blaney gets hot; Harvick seeks history
Chasing attentionEmilee from Fulton, Miss.: Thanks so much for the good articles and your good TV program. At New Hampshire, J.J. Yeley finished eighth, and Elliot Sadler came in 6th. Dave Blaney finished 10th, too. They didn't just miraculously get there at the very end did they?
Larry McReynolds: During our practice and qualifying sessions, we try hard to make note of everyone's performance, especially when some of the non-Chase drivers do well. We're trying to make sure that these non-Chase teams don't get lost in the shuffle. I'm trying to get Dave Blaney's crew chief, Kevin Hamlin, on our NASCAR Performance Live radio show (Wednesday, 7 p.m. on MRN). Another attaboy to Blaney and the No. 22 group with a second consecutive top-10 finish. With what they've been through this year, I'm sure those boys are smiling big after the last few weeks. Last weekend, Tony Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and the No. 20 team had a disastrous qualifying run on Friday. They made the car drive well, and it was the second-best car in practice on Saturday, behind only Kevin Harvick. Stewart wants to finish 11th, but right now, he's not worried about points. He wants to win races. There's a lot at stake for these teams outside the Chase. Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards want to get wins under their belt. Brian Vickers had a great run on Sunday, and he really wants to win a race before he leaves Hendrick Motorsports.
|Chase for 25th in driver points|
|23.||Martin Truex Jr.||+110|
A lot is on the line for teams outside of the Chase as they try to turn around their season. Some teams are trying to get into the top 35 in owner points. Other teams are trying to get into the top 25 because if you finish 25th, you get a decent check from the point fun. If you finish 26th, you get a thank-you note that says "I hope you race again with us next year."
Harvick's big dealTravis from Salt Lake City, Utah: Why isn't a bigger deal being made about Kevin Harvick potentially doing something no other driver has ever done, winning both the Busch and Nextel Cup races in the same season? Larry McReynolds: You may not have watched all of the programming on SPEED from Richmond. It's the first thing that I asked Kevin Harvick when we had him on NASCAR Victory Lane. He has an opportunity to do something that no one else has done in nearly 60 years of NASCAR #&151 win the top two series championships in one season. It's huge, and as long as it's a reality, we will continue to talk about in SPEED during our practice and qualifying shows as well as Trackside, NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane.
|Chase for 35th in owner points|
The whole pictureKaye from Tucson, Arizona: Larry, would you please tell me what Jeff Green did at Richmond to have him pulled from the race and have his car parked? I am not a Jeff Green fan. I watched the race and did not see what Jeff Green did to Jimmie Johnson. Larry McReynolds: There was a lot of talk after Richmond about NASCAR being inconsistent with parking the No. 66 car after what happened between him and the No. 48. Over my six years of broadcasting, I've challenged NASCAR on some things, but sometimes we are not able to see the everything that leads up to a penalty being handed out. NASCAR normally doesn't park somebody for one thing and one thing only. It's normally a series of things leading up to that moment. To say that NASCAR wasn't consistent parking Green and not parking someone else isn't fair. There are things that NASCAR sees that we don't see as fans or broadcasters.
Dale Jr. in BuschRichard from Winston-Salem, N.C.: Since he fired his driver, Mark McFarland, why doesn't Little E drive at least some of the races for his Busch series car? Could it be because of his contract with either DEI or Budweiser? Larry McReynolds: I know Dale Earnhardt Jr. would like to run more Busch races, but teams have personal services contracts with sponsors and their teams. They can't wake up one morning and say, "I think I'll run the Busch race this week." They have to get approval from their team. When Mike Skinner drove for the Toyota Craftsman Truck team that I was part of in 2004, he had to get approval from us if he wanted to drive anything besides our truck. We wanted to make sure that he didn't get in something that we felt was going to be detrimental to him.
2007 TV scheduleJoe from Louisville, Ky.: At the end of FOX's coverage of NASCAR this year, you, DW, and Mike mentioned that you will cover the Daytona 500 for the next eight years. Is this change going back to the old ways of TV coverage where networks compete for each race, or is this something new?
|Speed Mail Larry McReynolds|
Larry McReynolds: Starting next year and for the next eight seasons FOX has the start of the season. Unlike the first six years, we will have the Daytona 500 every single year. ABC/ESPN replaces NBC and TNT in the second half. NBC is completely going away, but NASCAR created a six-race bridge between FOX and ABC/ESPN half for TNT from Pocono until the race before the Brickyard. Another change is all Busch races will be on ESPN and ESPN2 just like all of the Craftsman Truck races will remain on SPEED. From Daytona to Dover, all 13 point races and the Budweiser Shootout will be on FOX. The Duel 150 qualifying races for the Daytona 500 and the Nextel All-Star Challenge will be on SPEED. Would FOX love to do all of the races? Absolutely, but I don't see one network doing the entire season because of the monetary commitment it would take to get all 38 races, including the Budweiser Shootout and the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Plus, it wouldn't work for FOX because of the NFL package in the fall. It's one reason why FOX has always gone after the first half.
FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.
"How to Become a Winning Crew Chief" is on bookstore shelves, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.