Dale Jarrett

NASCAR America: Is NASCAR ‘dumbing down’ the sport for ‘parity’?

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NASCAR will see a number of changes in 2018, from Dale Earnhardt Jr. being officially retired to an even greater presence of young drivers.

There’ll also be rules changes, particularly the number of crew members that will be allowed over the wall to service race cars. One of those changes will include gas men being unable to do anything else but just fuel cars (in the past, they’ve been able to make adjustments and help out their fellow crew members, if needed).

On Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Dale Jarrett, Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty all gave their thoughts on the new rule changes, particularly the over-the-wall limits.

Here’s some of what they had to say:

LETARTE: “Going from six to five, in my opinion, I’m not a fan. I don’t like it. I liked pit stops better than there were seven (over the wall members). While parity is the goal and while the rules should be in place to give every team the opportunity to go out and compete, I don’t see how limiting the number going over pit road is helping this at all.

“Now there is no argument over safety. Less people over the pit wall is safer, there’s no argument. But going from six to five and basically making the gas man only the gas man, means the other four have to be the most elite athletes, the best of the best, and I don’t think that creates parity.

“If anything, I think it’s the opposite. I think that the biggest teams, the ones with the deepest pockets, the ones that can get the best of the best, the Tom Brady’s of tire changers or jackmen, will have a distinct advantage. If anything, I think this separates the playing field more than it levels it.”

JARRETT: “I just see this as being something I’m not going to be a fan of. We’ll see how it works out. NASCAR has done a lot of good things to enhance the competition over the years, but every year we seem to get in a cost-saving mode, these owners are going to spend whatever it takes and some people will probably make better money because of this.”

PETTY: “There’s been lots of innovations on pit road, and almost always when a change is made on pit road, it’s for safety. You’ll never hear me arguing about safety. … This is 2017, 2018. This is the way the game is played.

“But the problem I have for this announcement is parity, to change the sport and make it equal. We’re dumbing the sport down. We’re taking Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing have worked their rear ends off to develop (air) guns and things and to be better, now we’re saying, ‘That team over there, they can’t do that, so guess what, you don’t get to use it this week.’

“(That’s like) the Patriots play and the other team’s quarterback doesn’t have the same quarterback rating as (Tom) Brady, Brady doesn’t get to play because we’re just going to dumb the sport down so we play it to the lowest common denominator.

“That’s my problem with parity. We should not have it. It’s up to the teams to go out and know how to win, to work towards winning. It’s not NASCAR’s job, and I’ve never felt to make me a winner. … If I can’t do it, that’s life, dude. I go out of business. That’s life in the coffee, farm and grocery store business. It’s not their (NASCAR’s) job to equal the field. It’s my job as an owner or driver to put the right people in the right places to go out and win races.”

For all that Petty, Letarte and Jarrett had to say, check out the full video above.

NASCAR America, 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Offseason changes, Daytona 500, driver news

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Today’s edition of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Krista Voda and Kyle Petty host from Stamford, Connecticut. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Steve Letarte join them from NBC Charlotte.

Here is what’s on today’s show:

  • It’s eight days into the NASCAR offseason, but we’re already looking ahead to 2018. Driver movement is set to shake up the sport, schedule changes will impact the race to Miami, and new rules will force crew chiefs to get creative. We’ll focus on all of those aspects, and what effects they could have.
  • The 2018 Daytona 500 will take on a different look compared to past Daytona 500s. Our resident crew chief, Steve Letarte, will break down the differences and the preparation that needs to get worked out before February.
  • The Thanksgiving weekend generated some exciting news for a few NASCAR drivers. We’ll check it out in today’s Social Pit Stop.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

 

NASCAR America: Will William Byron’s dominance in Trucks, Xfinity transfer to Cup?

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William Byron dominated the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 with 7 wins, but came up short of the championship, finishing fifth.

He was one of the top drivers this season in the Xfinity Series and ultimately did what he fell short of the year before, capturing the championship and Rookie of the Year honors.

What’s ahead of Byron in 2018 when he is a rookie in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving for Hendrick Motorsports? Could he make it two championships in a row?

On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America, our team of analysts – Parker Kligerman, Steve Letarte, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty – gave their thoughts about Byron’s chances for immediate success in the Cup Series.

Check out the video above. You might be surprised by some of their answers.

NASCAR America’s Jarrett, Letarte, Petty recap 2017, make 2018 predictions

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The 2017 NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series seasons have only been over for a few days.

And while it’s understandable that on Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America, analysts Steve Letarte, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty reflected back on the recently completed race seasons, they also took a very bold move:

The new season is still three months away, but our analyst team is ALREADY making predictions for 2018.

We don’t want to spoil the surprise or show their hands. If you want to hear how they’re already viewing 2018, click on the video above.

NASCAR America: Was Kyle Busch wrong to blame Joey Logano?

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It wasn’t so much that Martin Truex Jr. kept Kyle Busch from winning the championship in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400.

At least that’s not the way Busch saw it.

Busch felt he had the race car and the speed to track down Truex and eventually pass him – had it not been for Joey Logano.

An upset Busch said after the race to NBC Sports that he felt Logano may have impeded his progress but on Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman both agreed that Logano did nothing wrong, that he was trying to win the race himself.

Here’s some of what the analysts had to say:

Jarrett: “It’s not just the four championship drivers that are out there competing, everyone else is out there and they have an agenda. Joey Logano has had a bad year by his standards, so he was trying to get everything he possibly could.

“But, here’s another thing I’ll say: Joey Logano really did nothing wrong there. And something that all drivers, not just Kyle Busch, that you have to think about … things that you might have done to rile a competitor, you never know when that might come back to get you.

“We talk about paybacks all the time. It doesn’t have to be somebody wrecking somebody to pay back, all they have to do in a critical situation is hold you up a little bit. I don’t know if that’s what Joey Logano was doing or not or just racing as hard as he could and that made it difficult for Kyle Busch to get by.

“… I think it was simply racing. It was unfortunate for Kyle, but it’s part of the way the playoff system works here in NASCAR.”

Here’s what Kligerman had to say:

“I think at that point of the race, there was still a chance for Joey Logano to rally and go challenge for a win. … That’s what you have to deal with, that’s what racing over 38 weeks is about in the Cup Series, racing 39, 40 cars every week. You have to race those guys. … Kyle Busch had one of the fastest cars, but was Joey Logano the only one that was really the problem. As they came to the end, Kyle Larson was in the picture a little bit. You can’t put the blame on Joey Logano. He was just driving his race.”

Hear more about what they had to say in the video above.