Richard Childress

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Gordon/Bowyer Fallout, Harvick's New Home and Grading Phoenix
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<p> Dustin Long and the Backseat Drivers Fan Council weigh in on the Jeff Gordon/Clint Bowyer penalties, Kevin Harvick leaving Richard Childress Racing and they grade a crazy race in Phoenix.</p>
2012

NASCAR reacted this week to Jeff Gordon intentionally wrecking Clint Bowyer at Phoenix and the melee between the crews, but was its penalty enough? Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council debate what should have been done and what they would do if Bowyer exacts revenge this weekend at Homestead. Those are just among a few of the topics the Fan Council debated. Here’s what they said:

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The Long and Short of It: New Crew Chief, Engines and Outlook Working for Logano

Dustin Long Takes a Spin Around the NASCAR Circuit

by Dustin Long

Joey Logano says he’s worked with the same sports psychologist teammate Denny Hamlin has, but that’s not the only reason why Logano could do something in Sunday’s Las Vegas race that he hasn’t in more than a year.

After finishing ninth in the Daytona 500 and 10th last weekend at Phoenix, Logano will seek to score his third consecutive top-10 finish — something he hasn’t done since his late-season charge in 2010.

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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long takes a spin around the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.</p>

GOOD SIGN  While Kevin Harvick might have been disappointed with finishing second at Phoenix last weekend after leading a race-high 88 laps, it didn’t diminish his enthusiasm for this season.

After the race, car owner Richard Childress congratulated Harvick on the radio for his run. Harvick replied: “It’s going to be a good year.”

Harvick was excited with his run after struggling at Phoenix last year and finishing 19th.

“They’ve done a good job over the winter,” Harvick said of his team. “And hopefully that continues over the next few weeks in the preparation that they’ve done through the winter.”

PIT STOPS  Goodyear held a tire test Tuesday at Rockingham Speedway in preparation for the April 15 Camping World Truck Series race there, the first NASCAR race at that track since the Cup Series left after 2004. Said Jason Leffler, among the drivers testing: “I’m just looking forward to coming back and seeing 35 other trucks out here racing hard to see what happens when the tires wear out and everybody gets slipping and sliding.” ... Dodge will reveal its 2013 Charger this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Prior to last weekend’s events at Phoenix International Raceway, Penske Racing announced it would switch to Ford at the conclusion of the 2012 season. “We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward,” Ralph Gilles, President and CEO SRT Brand and Motorsports, said. “As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports.”

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2012
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10 Tough NASCAR Questions: Part 2

Part 2 in a five-part series addressing issues facing NASCAR in 2012

Why has NASCAR taken one of the fans’ favorite venues on the circuit at Lucas Oil Raceway, and replaced it with a track that typically does not host the most exciting brand of stock car racing?

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<p> <span>As the 2012 NASCAR season approaches, Athlon Sports examines 10 controversial issues alive within the sport in the annual five-part, 10 Tough Questions feature, running each day throughout the week.</span></p>

Richard Childress vs. Kyle Busch: Did Kyle have it coming?

Following Busch’s on-track and post-race pit road run-in with RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington, Richard Childress made it clear to Kyle Busch and NASCAR that if Busch damaged his vehicles again, there’d be hell to pay.

Richard Childress, to no one’s surprise, is a man of his word.

When Busch got physical with RCR driver Truck Series rookie Joey Coulter one month later at Kansas Speedway, Childress made good on his promise, hunting Busch down in the garage, putting him in a headlock and force-feeding him a few knuckle sandwiches.

It’s important to remember that this “feud” has roots stretching back well over a year. Busch had been involved in other incidents with Harvick, the mild-mannered Jeff Burton and former RCR driver Clint Bowyer. Harvick had also mixed it up with Busch’s teammates, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. So this episode may have been bigger than just Childress vs. Busch — indeed, it seems the 65-year-old team owner was sending a message to Joe Gibbs Racing.

The Kansas incident was the breaking point, though, and although Busch claimed to have not known of Childress’ declaration that he would tolerate no more, Busch took the brunt of the message.

Childress, who’s been in the sport since 1969, still appreciates the value of a buck. As Busch’s antics sent the fab bill in Welcome, N.C., higher and higher, Childress handled the situation in the same manner any number of rivals do on short tracks all across America every weekend.

Was it right? Probably not. Did Busch have it coming? Oh yeah. And NASCAR seemed to think so as well, as Childress got off with a $150,000 fine and probation.

Word is, donations were pouring in almost immediately.


Visit AthlonSports.com each day throughout the month of February for exclusive preseason coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season.
 

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2012
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NASCAR's Rich Get Richer

Are the "Big Four" busting the sport of NASCAR?
<p> Are the "Big Four" busting the sport of NASCAR?</p>
2009

In celebration of Athlon Sports' upcoming 10th annual Racing magazine, we've dug into the archives to uncover some of the most memorable features, profiles and Q&As that have graced our pages. Visit the site daily for more retrospective looks at NASCAR throughout the decade.

Article originally published in 2009 Athlon Sports Racing annual

— by Tom Bowles

Hunting with Richard Childress

NASCAR owner Richard Childress talks about his second-favorite sport, hunting
<p> NASCAR owner Richard Childress talks about his second-favorite sport, hunting</p>
2004

In celebration of Athlon Sports' upcoming 10th annual Racing magazine, we've dug into the archives to uncover some of the most memorable features, profiles and Q&As that have graced our pages. Visit the site daily for more retrospective looks at NASCAR throughout the decade.

The following feature was originally published in the 2004 Athlon Sports Racing annual:

Fans who visit the museum at the complex housing his racing operations don’t need to be told how important the outdoors are to Richard Childress.

Stock Car Suicide

NASCAR team owners are pricing sponsors out of the market

by Tom Bowles

So what would you do with $13 million? In this economy, that’s a dollar amount that makes most middle-class Americans drool. It’ll certainly make major athletes jealous, too, after all, that’s more than the highest-paid NHL, NBA and major league baseball players earn, and fairly competitive with sport’s “holy grail” these days, the NFL.

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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Tom Bowles notes that the current business model in NASCAR — if not curbed — could sink the ship.</p>
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The Earnhardt Extension

Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick still an unlikely pairing

by Tom Bowles

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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Tom Bowles examines Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racing legacy and how it will be linked with Hendrick Motorsports — the racing organization that came up with the plan to dethrone his late father.</p>

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