Notebook: France outraged by April Fool’s story
By: By Reid Spencer, Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service, Superior Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas — The flap over caranddriver.com’s April Fool’s joke isn’t over.
NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said the sanctioning body is looking at possible remedies in the aftermath of the April 1 story that indicated—in ill-conceived jest—that President Barack Obama had ordered carmakers General Motors and Dodge to withdraw their support from NASCAR racing.
Originally run without a disclaimer, the story, which appeared on the Web site associated with Car and Driver magazine, subsequently had a tagline added to indicate the report was an April Fool’s prank. When the story first appeared, however, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications Jim Hunter was besieged with requests for NASCAR’s reaction to what many thought was a legitimate article.
“We were really very upset about that,” France said after the prerace drivers’ meeting Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. “And it may not be over with how we’re going to approach that. That was an outrageous thing that those guys did, and we were very, very unhappy.
“We’re still looking at our options how to make sure we remedy that. It was irresponsible—very irresponsible.”
The story has been pulled from the site.
Edwards gracious about slow pit stop
A great pit stop put Carl Edwards in position to pass Jeff Gordon for the lead on Lap 296 of Sunday’s Samsung 500 at Texas.
A horrible pit stop on Lap 305 cost him a chance to win.
“We had that one good stop, passed Jeff for the lead, and I thought, ‘If we can just have one more, we’ll be all right,’ ” said Edwards, who entered the pits in the lead on Lap 305 and came out 11th. “That’s what cost us the race. My guys are trying real hard—we’re all in this together—but we can do a better job than that, and I’m sure we will.”
To his credit, Edwards resisted the urge to bash his crew.
“The way this thing works is that I don’t need anybody to tell me when I’ve done something wrong, (and) they don’t need anybody to tell them. Those guys want to win this race just as bad as I do. We’re all in this together. They don’t yell at me when I hit the wall, so it’s not my position to be mad at them. … I know they can do it—we’ve just got to figure out how to do it every time.”
Kurt Busch’s run solid, if not spectacular
Kurt Busch couldn’t keep pace with the fastest cars Sunday, but he used a solid eighth-place run to hold the third position in the Sprint Cup points standings.
“It was a really good run for the Miller Lite Dodge,” said Busch, who trails series leader Jeff Gordon by 180 points after seven races. “We worked on it (the car) and made small adjustments throughout the day.
“We felt like we couldn’t run with the big dogs today but could have a good points day. That’s exactly what we needed. I felt that our car was better on the long runs. The short green runs, that wasn’t good for us. We needed to be out there as long as we could and stretch it out. The green flag pit stops helped us move our way forward.”
Busch started 28th but moved up steadily during a 97-lap green-flag run to open the race. When the field restarted on Lap 103 after the first of six cautions, he was 14th.