Christian eckus and ben rhodes become teammates and get ready. Folks nascar is going streaming, how’s it going y’all. My name is eric and welcome to out of the groove happy happy friday. Folks, we’ve done it. We have officially completed the final week of the nascar off season. The bush clash is just a few days away, tuesday night they’ll be hitting the daytona road course. You got qualifying on wednesday, the daytona duels thursday and, of course, the great american race sunday february 14th. We are less than nine ten nine days from the daytona 500 wow we’ve got a lot to get to here on this friday. If you missed my huge announcement video yesterday, i encourage you to go check it out, but in a nutshell, yesterday ae engine and i launched the all new out of the groove podcast network click that top link in the description to watch or listen to the latest Episodes of the nascar weekly podcast and a lifetime in nascar any fan who loves nascar history will love a lifetime in nascar with aaron burns and ben white. Go check that out. We also announced yesterday the launch of the all new out of the groove weekly viewers guide, lots of exciting nascar stories. Other commentators getting involved it’s very exciting to see the out of the groove platform. Expanding in a major way here in 2021 go show those new podcasts, some love go, show the weekly viewers guide, some love as well.
I appreciate y’all checking that out. One thing i did not clarify in yesterday’s video, but out of the groove here on youtube, is still continuing, as you can see, we’re still uploading videos almost daily. That is not going to change. This is still the flagship show of the general out of the groove brand, so look out for plenty more episodes this year. This show itself is only getting bigger as well, but thank you guys so much for the amazing feedback on yesterday’s video and the overall announcement. I’M, super excited i’m glad to see so many of you are as well. I really appreciate the support now. We’Ve got some controversial stories to talk about today. The season has not technically begun and drivers are already hurling insults at each other, so we’ll get to that. In a moment, but i want to start this episode by talking about thor sport racing yesterday, they confirmed their 2021 truck series lineup and there’s a twist. This lead story is brought to you by alka seltzer, but yes, thor. Sport yesterday revealed that johnny sauter, matt crafton and ben rhodes will return to the team full time in 2021. Grant enfinger will also return to the 98 truck. However, he will now split that ride with christian eckus christian eckus is expected to make 10 starts this year. In the 98 truck thor, sport also confirmed they are switching to toyota that’s. What was rumored but it’s, officially official now after spending the last three years with ford thorsport has returned to the toyota family thorsport is a powerhouse team in the camping world truck series.
So good to know that their lineup is set. We have to talk about christian eckus a bit of a surprise. Christian eckus lost his ride with kbm after last season. So now he will stay in the toyota system, but on a part time deal with thor sport, and i think this announcement is quite surprising for a couple of different reasons. First, we have to talk about the implications for grant enfinger, who, i think might have been thor sports best driver last season. The stats would back me up he’s being demoted to part time. I would assume this has to do with maybe a lack of sponsorship, but if we look at the thor sport team’s performance last year, grant enfinger led the way with four wins. Last season, the rest of thor’s sport combined found victory line only twice so end. Finger had four wins: last year an average finish of 10.7 johnny sotter was winless, matt crafton did win once and so did. Ben rhodes, ben rhodes was the only one of these drivers to have a slightly better average finish last year than end finger 10 versus 10.7. But you factor in four wins for end finger, including the season opener at daytona. He was probably their best driver last season, at least statistically speaking. He was their most successful driver and he’s the one who’s getting forced to run part time that just doesn’t seem right. It feels like grant enfinger is getting absolutely screwed in this whole deal.
You know you could argue. Oh granted, finger’s 36 years old he’s, not a super young upcoming driver. They want to give a guy like christianeckis, who is a young upcoming driver, some seat time. So maybe that’s why nfinger is on the way out, but that argument doesn’t really hold any weight, because thor sport has several other older drivers as well end finger’s, not close to the oldest matt, kraft and johnny sotter are both well into their 40s. So if thor sport was trying to make room for a young driver by maybe replacing an older driver, there’s, no reason they would select, grant enfanger first. This has to have something to do with sponsorship, and finger must not be bringing in the same kind of funding. They’Re getting from solder and craft and of course, crafton’s been a long time, menard’s driver so i’m, not surprised they’re, keeping him full time, but really sucks for grant n finger, grant enfinger, put forth a tremendous effort last season and to see him rewarded by getting demoted. It just isn’t fair racing, sometimes just is not fair, but at the same time the flip side of this coin i’m very excited for christian eckus, because, while christianeckis is still yet to win in the camping world truck series, he showed plenty of speed last season and A good amount of consistency. The reason this deal is also surprising, though, is because now he will become teammates with ben rhodes, flashback to the fall race at texas last year, rhodes and eckus got into it in a major way when ben rhodes, for no real reason.
Just decided to hook christian eckus into the outside wall into the dog leg on the front stretch at high speeds i’m still shocked. That nascar did not penalize ben rhodes. For that. That, of course, led to the infamous image of krishnakis, giving him the the double thumbs up, not not the thumbs up. You know what i’m you know the photo christianeckis with perhaps the photo of the year for the nascar camping world truck series. Those two drivers will be teammates next year this year. I thought this was funny. Speaking to the media, christianeckis said i finally responded to his text. He sent me i don’t know four months ago rough deal but whatever so it sounds like christianeckis and ben rhodes still have some bad blood, but now they’ll be working closely together as teammates at thor. Sport ekkus again is expected to make 10 starts this year. Presumably end finger will be in the truck the rest of the time, but there you have it thor. Sport has set their lineups. Let me know how you feel about this. Do you feel like end finger’s getting screwed you’re excited for christian eckus? How do you think that dynamic between ekkus and ben rhodes is gon na work? Let me know what you think down in the comments below. I saw this story yesterday that i won’t quickly talk about before we get into more controversial topics, but tony bridenger. She will run select, arca, menards and camping world truck series races this season for young’s motorsports.
She will be in the o2 car in the arca series and she’ll be in the 82 in the trucks. Her first arca race will be the season opener at daytona, more races to be determined. When brianger makes her truck series debut, she will be the first arabic american woman to race in any of nascar’s top three series. I don’t know a whole lot about tony bringer. I know she’s built up a pretty solid following she’s 21 years old. She has made a few arca starts back in 2018, so she has some stock car racing experience. I don’t know where the ceiling for her really is, but we’ll get a good look at her. This year, in some arkham menards races and truck series races, good luck to tony bryant. I hope she does well now, with yesterday, being all about the out of the groove announcement. I did not do a traditional out of the groove episode yesterday, so we missed this story that was reported late wednesday night by adam stern, from sports business journal. He reported some nascar qualifying. Events will be streamed on peacock under nbc sports plan to shut down nbcsn and he attached a blurb from the article here. Nascar president steve phelps knew ahead of time that nbc universal was going to shut down its sports channel nbcsn by the end of the year. But phelps said that he does not know how that closure will affect his sport sources say many of the nbcsn races would head to usa network.
Some of the qualifying events would be streamed on peacock. Peacock again is the relatively new nbc streaming service, it’s free, and it also has a paid premium version and that’s really. My question, of course, it’s not confirmed in this report. You know: would the nascar qualifying sessions be streamed on peacock for free? Would they be a part of the free thing you just get some ads, or do you have to pay the five or ten dollars a month for peacock premium? That is not 100 clear. At this point, i think, if nascar puts qualifying behind a paywall that, of course will hurt qualifying’s ratings, not that qualifying was doing like amazing ratings or anything to begin with, but that would certainly be disappointing if it’s on the free portion of nbc peacock that’s awesome. I think that’s fantastic, you don’t even need cable at that point to uh to stream qualifying live now, keep in mind that no matter how this ends up, whether it’s behind an additional paywall or it’s free by my count, there are only four races this year on The nbc schedule that are expected to have any sort of qualifying at all you know, of course, nashville road, america indie road course and then the phoenix finale. Those are the only races that i know of that are expected to have any sort of qualifying this year. So it’s not like this is gon na, be a weekly thing. Where say, if you do have to pay the five dollars a month, that people are gon na, be constantly missing out on qualifying there’s only a few sessions this year.
Of course, looking ahead to 2022, when presumably qualifying will return in all of its former glory, this could indicate that next year, qualifying will all be on peacock streaming service. So really, my question is: is it gon na be free? Is it gon na cost five? Ten dollars a month, of course, if you pay the five dollars ten dollars a month, you’re not just getting qualifying you’re, also getting everything else. Peacock cast off you’re getting the office that’s like their big thing for comparison. Nbc is moving all of the subscription based indycar content behind the peacock premium. Paywall now keep in mind that’s content that was already behind a paywall. Indycar fans had to pay a few dollars a month to get access to this content. It’S now just going behind the peacock paywall, so you’re still only paying a few dollars a month and again you get the office at least so that does not seem to be a huge, dramatic change from what indycar fans were forced to pay for last year. So it’s all really unclear still with the sun news last month that nbc ascend is planning to shut down. At the end of this year, there’s been a lot of moving parts behind the scenes. Still a lot more questions than answers, i think, even behind the scenes at nbc universal. A lot of this is being worked out as we speak, so keep your eyes open. Keep your ears open, because nascar races qualifying sessions might be moving around here in the coming months and years, so we’ll follow along as things develop now.
The last thing i want to talk about this week, it’s been kind of media week, not really a super designated like media day drivers. Reporters have been going back and forth for several days in a row now we’ve seen some great quotes some great clips all across social media today. Well yesterday, actually a clip of joey gase made the rounds. Joey gase, we don’t talk about joey gase, very often he’s, not in competitive equipment, he’s. Never in contention in nascar cup series events, but he’s, a known name, he’s been around for several years. People know who joey gase is. He spoke to the media and bob hackers posted this clip to twitter. Yesterday he was asked about kind of past controversies between you know the super competitive teams and drivers. You know animosity towards some of the smaller lesser funded team drivers and here’s what he said. We’Re all out there in the same race, and they have a hell of a lot easier than we do if they they don’t want to switch seats. Any point in time, um i’d be happy to do that or if they want to change funding or whatever. That might be but um, you know it’s a lot of those guys that i guess have complained about, maybe me and garrett, which honestly normally i have a bunch of respect from the guys up on top because normally we were really respectful of them and they’re. Respectful of us and there’s only maybe one or two of them out there and, in my opinion some of those guys are maybe uh crybabies like a lot of people, would uh probably agree and they like to blame other people for them not having success.
He doesn’t explicitly call out kyle bush by name there, but it’s pretty clear he’s talking about drivers like kyle bush recently towards the end of 2020. Actually kyle busch had this to say after the bristol playoff race. Talking about the finish between him and kevin harvick, kyle busch said last year you always try to win races clean. You always try to race, hard race, clean and get the job done right. If that lap car wasn’t there, i would have blown it in on the outside or the inside. Maybe we would have banged each other’s doors or whatever and had a greater finish to the checkered, but some of them dip. You know what kids don’t know, what the hell they’re doing or where they’re at and they can’t stay out of the way. Nothing like a gas and a smith lee. So i forgot kyle bush did call him out by name joey gase, a bit more vague in his statement this week, but joey gates clearly did not take kindly to what kyle bush had to say last year and is still thinking about it and still uh does Not appreciate it in any major way, so season hasn’t even started. We already have one cup series driver calling another cup series driver or drivers cry babies ugh this this here’s going to be something else. I have a feeling look here’s, the dude. We can look at it incident by incident. There have been times in the past where yes, slower lap cars have gotten in the way and made bonehead moves that have altered the outcome of the race or have affected the top contenders in a negative way.
But there have been some instances where i feel like the lap down cars were kind of doing the best they can and some of these drivers like kyle busch’s kevin hart’s, any hamlets of the world. You know can’t be scapegoating them, as you know, excuse for why they didn’t win or why they were involved in an instant. You know, i think, it’s gone both ways. I don’t think it’s a good look when a superstar super competitive driver like kyle bush, you know, calls out a super underfunded, team or younger lesser experienced driver, whether they’re, right or not. It still just feels like a goliath punching down at a david. You never want to punch down your your weight class that’s, just not a great look, but at the same time sometimes these smaller teams and drivers do deserve to be called out when they make glaring mistakes, as we’ve seen some make in recent years and months. But other times it just feels petty. I mean i understand there’s a lot of pressure on kyle wish there’s, probably more pressure on kyle busch to perform than there is on joey gase. You know there’s one thing, joey gay says in there about how he feels like he has a harder job than kyle busch. I actually disagree on that. Yes, his car is not competitive. His car is likely not handling very well, but joey gase’s job each and every week is to just stay out of the way.
Kyle busch has the eyes of nascar nation on him. He has thousands millions of fans to not disappoint. He has a team owner investing a lot of money into kyle, which there’s more money sure it’s great, but it also comes with more pressure and higher expectations. Kyle bush has greater expectations every single week than joey gase has he’s racing up at the front of the pack against the best drivers and best equipment in the world. Joey gase is not there to be competitive, so joey acting like he has a harder job than guys like kyle bush. I i won’t go that far. I don’t know if i’ll say that i understand that he does have his own set of challenges without a doubt. I’M not saying he has an easy job, but that’s. I think he’s gone a little too far with that statement for perhaps but i just love that we’re already getting some chatter back and forth before the season even starts. Where do you land on this issue? Do you side with joey gase or do you side with drivers like kyle busch when it comes to lap cars getting in the way or getting involved, or i think guys, like kyle bush overreact to this kind of thing? Let me know what you think down below i’ve shared my opinion on some of what joey gates had to say right there. But let me know what you think down in the comments: that’s all i’ve got for today’s episode.
Thank you all. So much for watching be sure to subscribe. If you’re new to the channel, we talk nascar almost every single day. The season is upon us and, as always a huge thank you to my amazing patreon supporters as well. I will have some more content for you all. This weekend, in the meantime, check out the first issue of the out of the groove weekly viewers guide, linked down below also check out the latest episodes of the nascar weekly podcast a lifetime in nascar. That link is also down in the description as well. Thank you. All so much for your amazing support.