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Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart rip NASCAR's engine cooling limits, and Stewart makes it sing

Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart rip NASCAR's engine cooling limits, and Stewart makes it sing

This is going to hurt (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



   By Mike Mulhern

   Jeff Gordon was irate. So was Juan Pablo Montoya.
   And wait till you hear Tony Stewart's take on Sunday's race.
   Matt Kenseth, who at least made it to the finish, one of the few, was kicking himself for giving the race away by simply being too fast at the end.
   In fact Brad Keselowski was about the only driver here who left Talladega Superspeedway with a smile on his face.
   Of course Keselowski was the winner.
    Most of the stars were back in the garage before the end, and Chevy stars took the biggest hits during Sunday's Talladega 500.
   Stewart made it 500 miles before getting crashed out. But then the race went into overtime another 10 miles.
   "The racing was awesome," Stewart deadpanned, clearly frustrated. "It's fun to be able to race and have to watch the gauges at the same time. It makes us as drivers have to do so much more.
    "And being able to make yourself run on the apron and everything else to try to get clean air, it makes it fun.
    "I'm sorry we couldn't crash more cars today. We didn't fill the quota for Talladega and NASCAR."
   And there's more from  Smoke. To get the full inflection, here's the audio of Stewart post-race, with Figure 8 suggestions and more: http://bit.ly/J4VYB7

   Gordon, whose bad luck this season keeps reaching new levels of frustration, got taken out in melee with 115 miles to go. And when he got back to the garage, Gordon launched into a tirade about NASCAR's latest engine cooling rules.
    The engine cooling limits were designed to break up the two-car packs that were so effective last season at Daytona and Talladega. However drivers generally expresses some displeasure with the issue of engines overheating.
    Gordon was most pointed, calling them "a joke" and said NASCAR needed to make some changes before the tour hits the next restrictor plate track, Daytona in July.
   "This temp thing is a joke," Gordon said. "You can't race.
   "They have to address that."
   Stewart added to that by saying NASCAR should forced teams to tape up the nose entirely, so the engine could overheat even more quickly:  "I think we ought to just tape them off solid and run them until they blow up anyway. I think it would make it a lot more exciting for the fans.
   "Honestly, I think if we haven't crashed at least 50 percent of the field by the end of the race, we need to extend the race until we at least crash 50 percent of the cars because it's not fair to these fans for them to not see any more wrecks than that and more torn up cars," Stewart said.
    "We still had over half the cars running at the end and it shouldn't be that way."
   And that's this sport's defending champion.
    Ford teams appear to have a real good handle on the engine cooling situation. But Chevy teams appear to have significant problems.
    Kevin Harvick, caught up in a late crash, complained about the engine cooling rules too: "NASCAR has got us in a terrible box here as far as temperatures. You run around in a pack at 260 degrees.
    "I love this style racing….They just have to figure out a way to do it without (messing with) the engines."
  Ford's Carl Edwards, after he wound up crashed out, said he didn't want NASCAR changing anything. Teammate Kenseth, on the other hand, said NASCAR – with tons of engine data from the electronic fuel injection computers – would be able to quickly analyze just who had what types of engine issues.

    Roger Penske, Keselowski's team owner, said he was satisfied the rules. Besides, Penske noted wryly "Bill France told me once 'if you don't like the rules, you don't have to come and run,' and we've lived by that."
   However the quality of the action here Sunday wasn't up to typical Talladega. Drivers, until right near the end, were more concerned about keeping their engines cool enough not to blow up. So they were watching their water temperature gauges more intently than they were watching the other cars on the track.
    Gordon made the case:
    "Man, this is just one of the most bizarre years this team has ever gone through. I mean it's almost comical at this point.
    "But that hit was not fun. I didn't like hitting the wall. Gosh, I thought I was clear. I was just kind of cruising by on the inside and it looked to me like somebody came down and got Martin Truex Jr. and then that turned him into me.
    "That is just the way our season has been going."
    Yes, but the engine temps set him off: "We all knew that was going to be a big issue," Gordon said. "But when you can't really even race because the temps….
    "Even in a regular pack temps are an issue. We have to address that.
    "Nobody is really pushing a whole lot out…even though we know what's going to happen at the end.
    "There is certainly plenty of 'pack' racing, and two and three-wide. But when you can't even run fifth or sixth because you are over-heating, or going to overheat….
    "I don't know what we are going to do in Daytona in July."
     Carl Edwards, though, wasn't complaining about NASCAR's engine temp rules. "My temperatures were great all day. We didn't have any trouble."
    So he said he hoped NASCAR didn't change a thing.
     Edwards was caught up in the same wreck as Gordon, when several drivers suddenly ran out of fuel and slowed abruptly.
    "This is Talladega," Edwards said with a sigh. "You come here and you just hope you make it through all that stuff.
    "That was a long wreck. It started; I hit the wall and thought we were done, and then somebody hit me from the rear.
     "People were definitely rushing to get to that wreck.
     "When people run out of fuel like that…."
    And wasn't this new engine electronic fuel injection system supposed to make fuel mileage and other such issues much more precise?
   Montoya was even sharper than Edwards: "It's Talladega, you know. Some people call that exciting. I don't. It sucks.
   "We were staying out of trouble. I hadn't even used the bumper. We were running a smart race.
    "Somebody runs out of gas, somebody hit him and threw him right into us. It sucks."

     One of the big names behind the wall early was Jimmie Johnson, one of at least four Chevy drivers sidelined with engine problems: "Lost oil pressure. Ryan Newman is sitting in here with a similar issue."
    An oil pump issue is suspected.

   NASCAR officials said they would be dyno-testing engines from the cars driven by Chevy's Kasey Kahne, Dodge's AJ Allmendinger, Chevy's Jeff Burton, Toyota's Kyle Busch and Ford's Matt Kenseth. Such dyno testing is rare these days; it's unclear just when the last such dyno test was performed.

   Eric McClure is reported alert and stable, though in pain, still in the University of Alabama-Birmingham hospital being observed and treated after Saturday's savage crash in the Nationwide 312.
   Miranda McClure, Eric's wife, issued a brief statement:
   "Eric and would like to thank everyone for their prayers. They truly made a difference. We are so thankful that he survived yesterday. It is nothing short of a miracle that he was not hurt more than he is. He is still in the hospital for observation. We are hoping to be released sometime today. Please continue to pray for his recovery."
    McClure got caught up in a huge melee in the final miles of the Nationwide race, and his car was sent hard into the inside wall, fortunately the part of the wall protected by the soft-wall Safer barrier. Just a few feet further down the track there is a huge gap in the soft-wall.



I really could care less how the media feels about Stewart's comments during an interview....I love it! He's one of few who makes post race interviews interesting...and in line with what a lot of drivers would like to say! if NASCAR stoops low enough to fine Stewart for his talledega comments..I will personally send a check to be applied towards the fine! I know Stewart can well afford to pay his own fines..but I want my check..made payable to NASCAR .. To show my support to Stewart and all drivers who are getting jerked around, put in danger, and spending tons of cash because NASCAR can't make up their minds on ANYTHING...are supported by myself and other fans who are tired of the puppet shows NASCAR is passing for racing!

Some drivers bitch because of the water

Some drivers bitch because of the water temperatures, it\'s funny that Ford didn\'t have that problem, they just need to address the problem and quit bitching! The biggest problem is attendance, that needs to be addressed before it\'s too late. Get rid of the IROC cars and the stupid Chase and i bet the crowds will return.


Is it possible for Nascar to fine ALL of the drivers? Except Danica of course.







Na$car was in trouble the day France started \"The Chase\"it became irrelevant the day the spec car (COT)was made mandatory and it will wither and die in the next few years or when a car gets into the stands, whichever comes first.


Tony has gotten quite wealthy from running Nascar. He is getting even richer by hiring Danica. If the plate tracks are a joke then so is his 3rd cup driver. Nascar should spank his ass.

Pack Racing

I like Stewart\'s comments too, but he\'s going to get the lecture from NASCAR similar to what Cole Trickle got if he keeps on. He\'s absolutely correct though, with both his comments this week after Talladega and about the \"debris\" caution last week at Richmond that cost him a win. But this is NASCAR\'s game as Penske said, and as they did with Kyle Busch last year, they will let you know if your actions or words are over the top in their opinion. Was glad to hear a driver chime in on the \"wrecks\" with some sarcasm like Stewart did. I wish he would have done the same thing after the Bristol race and directed it at Bruton Smith. Both Smith and the fans clammoring for wrecks over good racing need to watch that link you posted.
NASCAR can do all of this manipulation and tweaking of the cooling systems to keep cars from running in the two-car trains, but they can\'t figure out a way to do something with the motors or aero to get rid of the restrictor plates and get away from the pack racing? I just don\'t understand how they can spend so much time and money trying to continually mend a broken form of racing instead of investing the money to find a package free of the restrictor plates that will allow the driver to race.

NASCAR Trying To Reinvent A Myth

Stewart was wrong as usual.

NASCAR can't get rid of restrictor plates because the real world of racing won't let them - and they SHOULDN'T WANT TO. Real racing is open throttle combat for the win; unlimited passing and RE-passing. NASCAR has this myopic hatred of tandem drafting and all they've done is ruined ability to race. The drivers CAN'T race in any package that doesn't run restrictor plates - they've done nothing but PROVE it for the last quarter-century.

This is the myth people want to reinvent - yet it's a myth. There's no such thing as passing with horsepower or restrictor plates stunting ability to race.

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