LOUDON, N.H. — NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday there is no animosity from the governing body toward the recently formed, nine-team Race Team Alliance that will collaborate on initiatives and issues facing auto racing.
The goals of the RTA include lowering costs for NASCAR teams and creating one voice on issues facing the teams.
Helton downplayed the immediate significance of the new faction, saying NASCAR will “continue to do business the way we’ve done business.”
“They’ve made clear their intentions are to grow the sport and make the sport stronger through their ownerships, and we have respect for what they do in their business models,” Helton said at New Hampshire Motorspeedway, “but the other thing is, the way we do our form of motorsports has worked. We continue to add assets and values to create and grow the sport. We’ll continue to do that and also continue to do that with the input of as many people as we can do individually.”
Helton said he did have notice from the RTA that it was forming.
The RTA currently includes Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.
Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman was elected chairman of the RTA, which was formally announced Monday.
Kauffman said the top goal of the RTA, which is operating with bylaws and an executive committee, was to bring in the remaining Sprint Cup teams that are not currently members. Also high on the agenda are cost-saving initiatives related to travel and parts, and communicating with one voice to NASCAR when it comes to team ideas on testing.
But some in the sport believe the RTA will ultimately want so much more, from a larger share of the cut in a TV deal to pulling some sort of power play when it comes to larger issues facing NASCAR. What’s the end game for the most powerful owners in NASCAR?
Kyle Busch wins pole at N.H.
LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch went from upside down to top of the field.
Busch continued the season-long trend of track record qualifying speeds, turning a lap of 138.130 mph Friday to win the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
It’s the second pole of the season for Busch, who will be joined on the front row by reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray completed the top five. Points leader Jeff Gordon starts 11th.
Busch starts first a week after he rolled over at Daytona. He was involved in a 25-car wreck that ended with Busch getting flipped upside-down in his No. 18 Toyota.
“I thought it was a little bit tight but I guess I was driving through it enough that it was still carrying good speed,” Busch said.
It was the 13th track record set this season.
“We knew the track record was going to fall, especially at one of the places where testing started,” Johnson said. “I was very optimistic coming into qualifying today. I thought I had enough to get it there. Then I saw Kyle’s lap. He definitely put one down.”
Jones wins Iowa truck race
NEWTON, Iowa — Erik Jones led for 131 of 200 laps and won the NASCAR Trucks series race in Iowa on Friday, giving Kyle Busch Motorsports its seventh win in nine races this season.
It’s the second career win for the 18-year-old Jones, and the sixth victory of 2014 for the No. 51 truck. Ryan Blaney was second, followed by Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter and German Quiroga Jr.
Dixon wins pole for IndyCar
NEWTON, Iowa — Scott Dixon will start from the pole for Saturday’s IndyCar race at the Iowa Speedway.
Dixon will be joined on the top line by Target Chip Ganassi teammate Tony Kanaan following single-car qualifying on Friday.
Helio Castroneves will start third, followed by Ryan Briscoe, Carlos Munoz and Sebastien Bourdais. Team Penske has three of the top four drivers in the points chase with co-leaders Castroneves and Will Power and last week’s winner, Juan Pablo Montoya.
But Penske has never won in seven starts at Iowa, while Andretti Autosport drivers have won four straight on Iowa’s short track.
The pole winner has never gone on to win an IndyCar race in Iowa.