Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NASCAR: Carl Edwards only has two real options for 2012 – Roush-Fenway Racing or Joe Gibbs Racing.

As the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season continues to roll on, one rumor that been gaining steam over the last few weeks has been, who is Carl Edwards going to driving for in 2012?

Every year in NASCAR, we see these same rumors fly, its called silly season and basically, its where will a driver end up driving in the next season.

In 2007, it was Dale Earnhardt Jr., which ended at Hendrick Motorsports, in 2008, it was Tony Stewart on the move to his own team, Stewart-Haas Racing.

Even more, in 2009, it was Jamie McMurray which ended up at EGR and of course last year (2010), it was Kasey Kahne that right now is at Red Bull Racing, but signed a deal with Hendrick Motorsports for the #5 ride in 2012.

Personally that Kahne deal still gives me a funny feeling especially with Red Bull Racing involved, but that’s for another day.

Anyway, for Carl Edwards, he is a top driver in NASCAR right now and where he ends up in 2012 and beyond is crucial for whether or not he will be a contender for not only victories on a weekly basis, but a contend for a Cup Series Championship. Of course he like many will have to go through “5 time” Jimmie Johnson.

But as contract talks continue with Carl Edwards, the rumors as well have begun to fly and as like many in NASCAR, I have an opinion too.

Basically the way I see it, even with NASCAR having several top tier teams that might meet Carl Edward’s needs including Penske Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Stewart-Haas Racing. But I don’t see it like that, Stewart-Haas Racing is in no position to add a third car, EGR is good with a two-car team, MWR, I believe is right at two-cars and so is Red Bull Racing.

So that leaves basically two top tier teams and that would be Roush-Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. First, JGR, right now JGR is the top Toyota team and while they are having a few engine issues, they are good week in and week out for contending for wins and contend every year to win championships, so Edwards would be a good fit their, especially with his partner(s) in crime Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

Second, which brings me to his current race team Roush-Fenway Racing. RFR is a good top tier team and is a good of place as any to win races and championships especially with Ford behind him.

So really Carl Edwards in my eyes only has two choices, stay at RFR or leave and join Joe Gibbs Racing.

Here’s my prediction: As much as JGR is a good team especially with Toyota behind them, Carl Edwards would be risking a lot to leave Roush-Fenway Racing. Right now in 2011, he is contending on a weekly basis for victories again and I see Edwards making the chase and contending for the championship. I just don’t think he can find a better ride in this market.

BUT, there are two key pieces here that would change where Edwards races in 2012, one will RFR give Edwards the money he is looking for? And two, is there sponsorship for Edwards in 2012 and beyond? If one or both these question have a no, then JGR is next up, but if there’re both YES, then he stays at RFR, unless he wants to leave…But again I see RFR in 2012 anyway…

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

- Brian Vermette
RaceDriven.com and now at BVinsight.com

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fan Insight: Kevin Harvick muscles his way to victory in the Auto Club 400 in California. Where did Newman come from?

(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Welcome readers to another edition of Fan Insight and I come to you with my insight of the Auto Club 400 at the California Speedway from this past weekend. Heading into California, normally I’m really not all that excited about the racing, but for some reason or another, especially after watching last falls 400 mile race, I was more interested this year and 500 is just too long for these races anyway.

But for the Auto Club 400, there was a twist for me as I watched the Cup Series race at my sister’s with my father and brother in-law. Watching Cup Series races with my father and my brother in-law can get to be very interesting at times, but it offers some unique perspective's into what is really going on and what they see. For the Auto Club 400, the race was a decent one to say the least, unless there was a caution flag and another double-file restart. In that case, drivers would go two-three-four wide at times and make the racing very exciting.

But let’s be honest, there is little excitement in watching any given driver lead most of the laps and drive away from the field especially Kyle Busch. But simply put, its not over until the checkered flag waves and we have a winner. And on Sunday, that’s exactly what made the Auto Club 400 an exciting race at the end.

With 10 to go, I really thought that the race after the final restart was all about fifth on back, but leave it to Kyle Busch in over driving his racecar, “5 time” Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick to come out of the middle of nowhere and not only blow by the most talked about driver Kyle Busch in the Cup Series today and settle it among themselves. And they did.

On the white flag lap, Jimmie Johnson lead into turn 1, but by the time they were halfway down the back straightaway, Harvick was up Johnson’s six (back bumper), shoving him along and sending Johnson harder than he wanted to into turn 3. From there, it was all Harvick skating up towards the wall, driving right by Johnson and right into victory lane. Nobody could ay that Harvick didn’t earn that win, that was a great move on Johnson and it got me on the edge of my seat.

Notebook:

1. Dale Jr. continues his comeback: Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues his run of top 15 place finishes since Phoenix with a 12th place finish on Sunday. Dale Jr. did slide a little in the points, but still remains inside the top 12 in points, he’s 12th.

2. Richard Childress Racing leaves their mark in California: All four RCR cars finished inside the top 16. Harvick wins, Bowyer finished 7th, Burton 15th and Menard 16th. Kevin Harvick continues to fight his way back into the top 12 in points and now finds himself 9th in Cup Series points. This win defiantly helped Harvick rebound after a few bad finishes to open the 2011 season. But the top RCR, Paul Menard still finds himself 7th in points.

3. Tony Stewart not having any fun with his finishing results: Despite the fact that Stewart does good in practice, qualifying and during the race, it seems that Smoke just continues to have trouble closing the deal with these races and ended up finishing 13th on Sunday. Right now Smoke is just trying to close the deal. But one thing for everyone to remember including Smoke is that he is a second half driver. Smoke doesn’t normally make noise until Sonoma and Daytona or even Watkins Glen.

4. Ryan Newman makes statement: As I sit here just after today’s race looking at the results and unofficial point standings, I’ve noticed that even though car owner Tony Stewart isn’t happy, his teammate Ryan Newman is happy as he finished 5th on Sunday and now finds himself 2nd in points, only –9 points behind leader Carl Edwards. All I can say is, where did Newman come from. Boy did Newman surprise me.

5. No worries about Jimmie Johnson: For everyone who is wondering about the 5 time Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, don’t. Johnson is doing exactly what he does, he’s right there making little noise until the chase comes and its his turn to pound on the competition and go after his 6th straight Cup Series Championship. Until then no worries here.

6. California Speedway, several press releases sent out, one Cup Series date per year and yet low attendance again. All I’m going to say is I’m going to address NASCAR attendance later this week on my personal blog BVinsight.com

Well readers, that’s a wrap on the Auto Club 400 and now we set our sights on short track action next weekend at Martinsville.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fan Insight: Tire issues and low attendance over shadow a decent Jeff Boyd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Please note: This article is on the March 2011 Bristol race, not the March 2012 Bristol race. If you're looking for the 2012 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway that was won by Brad Keselowski, please read "NASCAR: Congrats to Brad Keselowski on winning the Food City 500 at Bristol and congrats to MWR on all 3 cars finishing in the top 5." on ThinkingBrian.com. Thank you.

Welcome readers, after a long and painful off weekend (personal thing) in which only the Truck Series in action, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to action this past weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The racing weekend saw a double-header with both the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday and the Cup Series on Sunday in action, and boy did both series put on a decent show, but with the same results.

On Saturday on the Nationwide Series race and franking I don’t know I even bother to watch the Nationwide Series or what is now called the (Kyle) Busch Series, yes Kyle Busch wins again. Or what I like to call the monkey gets the cupcake.

But not to be out done, Sunday saw the same as Kyle Busch lead after the final restart as he drove into the sunset and sweep the weekend.

However don’t let Kyle Busch sweeping the weekend get you down as there still were a lot to talk about from Bristol Motor Speedway.

Notebook

1. Sunday’s low attendance: Let’s get this one out of the way, to be honest even if I were given free tickets to the Bristol race, I still couldn’t attend for the simple reason of it costs to much money for airfare or drive and get a hotel room.

The sky-high hotel rates are ridiculous and race fans simply aren’t going to pay it anymore. Attendance will be hurting for a long time until reasonable packages are made available.

And of course the economy has something to do with it and it’s a day race, not a night race.

2. Danica Patrick, “Welcome to Bristol”: On Saturday, Danica Patrick got a taste of the Bristol stomp and she got wrecked by Ryan Trucex or so she thinks. Of course one Danica got out of her car, he let Truex know her frustration be standing and pointing at him as he went by. Truex did say he was at fault, but I see it as they both made a tiny error, Truex came down a little and Danica came up a little, there was another lane below Danica too.

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had two solid runs: Believe it or not, but Dale Jr. is slowly working his way back up in NASCAR with solid finishing results. On Saturday, Dale Jr. started 11th and managed to bring the #5 Chevy home in 3rd. Meanwhile in the Cup race on Sunday, he managed to rebound from a 30th place car all day to finish 11th. You will also see that Dale Jr. is now 9th in the Cup Series standings.

I would say that the crew chief swap or better yet driver swap, Dale Jr. getting paired with Steve Letarte is paying off for Dale Jr. Finally Junior has found a crew chief that can keep Junior focused and looking at the big picture. Right now with the exception of Daytona with a wreck that wasn’t his fault, Junior has finished 10th at Phoenix, 8th at Las Vegas and 11th at Bristol. Those are solid numbers and its good to see.

4. I wouldn’t be a “start and park” driver: In the biggest story of Saturday’s Nationwide race, “Jennifer Jo Cobbs refuses to “start and park” in the NASCAR Nationwide race at Bristol.” I wrote the article headline above and it was touching. Now just 48 hours later, Cobbs has landed a one race deal for the California race where she will be driving #41 Rick Ware Racing (RWR) entry.

Let’s see what Cobbs can do racing for the first time at California next Saturday. Good luck to her.

5. Tires, Tires Tires, has NASCAR and Goodyear finally learned from the Indy tire nightmare? It appears on Friday that once Goodyear and NASCAR noticed that the new rightside tires weren’t rubbering up the track, they had a problem. So they put a backup plan into action and Goodyear shipped last years right side tires to Bristol for Saturday and Sunday'’s race.

All I want to say is Goodyear, stop changing the tires in the first place, last years Bristol tire was good and it showed in racing. Damn if its not broke, don’t fix it.

6. Mark Martins vs. Kevin Harvick: A few weeks ago at Phoenix, Kevin Harvick got hit from behind from Mark Martin during a multi-car wreck, but then at Bristol, Harvick got hit again by Martin from behind during a multi-car wreck.

But what bothered me is that Harvick commented on the radio that Martin should get his eyes checked. But if Harvick were to look at the replay from both incidents, he would find that Martin had no place to go and especially in the case of Bristol, Kahen stopped in front of Harvick and Harvick took Martins line leaving Martin with no place to go.

Harvick needs to check his eyes and replays. And next we are off the California Speedway, until then see yeah!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jennifer Jo Cobbs refuses to “start and park” in the NASCAR Nationwide race at Bristol. UPDATE

As Kyle Busch once again dominated and won the Nationwide Series race at Bristol, which let’s be honest it’s not a surprise nor a story, I mean really who cares. But the real story of this Nationwide race happened about 10 minutes before the start of the race itself.

After the driver bought the tires for the Bristol race, the driver of the #79 2nd Chance Auto Parts Ford, Jennifer Jo Cobbs was informed by her car owner 10 minutes before the race that she would be “starting and parking” in today’s race.

You could only imagine what her reaction was and what she did next was a class act all the way, she walked away and refused to get into the car and “start and park”.
After the incident, Jennifer Jo Cobb said: "It feels like such a 'Jerry Maguire' moment. There were rumblings all week about us start and parking this race. I have a commitment to my sponsors, my fans, NASCAR that I won't start and park. I'm very serious about my career and my performance, and I've worked hard to prove it to everyone. The conversation was never had with me until 10 minutes before the race that I was to start and park. I had already bought tires for the race, so you can imagine that this was a blow to my principles and my finances to get this news. As the owner of 2nd Chance, he has the right to ask NASCAR to black flag me and said he would do that if I didn't comply. There were also rumors that he was going to surprise me and take me out of the car at California. We have a five race agreement that says I am racing for him, which is why I decided to collect Nationwide Series points and not Camping World Truck Series points. Because of those promises, I made decisions accordingly for my career. So after thinking about it for a few minutes, which there weren't many, I made a decision to walk away. I thank God for giving me the strength to do that. Sometimes that is the best thing to do. I just felt like I owed it to my fans and my sponsors that I'm seeking and to NASCAR that if I say, 'I'm here to race,' that I go out and race." – Quote from Jennifer Jo Cobbs Racing PR
Personally as not only a motorsports fan, but a huge NASCAR fan, I have strongly disagreed with the art of “start and park” teams in NASCAR in general whether it’s the Truck Series, Nationwide or Cup Series and that’s putting in nicely, truth is I think “Start and Park” team are stealing from NASCAR, sponsors, tracks and the fans and while NASCAR really doesn’t see all that wrong with it, fans like me do, of course that just my opinion.

Anyway, in hearing that Jennifer Job Cobbs refused to “start and park” earlier today at Bristol, I congratulate and I tip my hat to her for keeping her commitment to her sponsors and fans and not becoming another “start and park” driver. I truly hope that another NASCAR owner comes along and hires her to driver their racecar.

Now I just wish that more drivers in all three of NASCAR’s series would do the same and refuse to be a “start and park” driver…you never know, it could happen, besides its not racing if you’re starting a race, racing a few to several laps and then parking the car, all to collect a pay check.

UPDATE: I'm all about hearing both sides of the story and above you heard Jennifer Jo Cobb's comments following her quitting minutes before the Bristol race over being a "start and park" this week. I wanted to point out that the car owner of 2nd chance (Rick Russell) is speaking out as well and while Cobbs and he agree that would be a "start and park" team at Bristol and that Cobbs quit, but thats all. You can read all of both parties quotes on SceneDaily.com.

I'm sure that this will be a very interesting discussion for a while to come and this one has already touched off an even bigger issues, namely "start and park" teams. I just wish that all drivers would elect not to be "start and park" drivers in the future and look for another way to go racing every week. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

From RaceDriven to Arcadia: Time for you to learn the difference between discussion comments and spam (advertisement) comments.

Welcome readers, one of the biggest double-edged swords sort of speak in blogging is comments. As being a blogger for the past 6 years now, I’ve seen and read a lot of both positive and negative comments here on RaceDriven.com.

However over the past few years especially, I have been finding myself having to moderate my comments because I have been getting a third type of comment, a span comment. You know, I actually love to read comments that I get from my readers whether they are positive or negative. But I hate reading spam comments.

So that brings me to this article and the subject of spam (and advertisement) comments. You see within the month of March 2011, I have been receiving several spam (and advertisement) comments and amazingly enough, most of them have been coming from the same person that leaves the username Arcadia.

Now normally I’m not the type of person or blogger/writer for that matter that writes articles that calls visitors out, I normally prefer informational articles or long blurbs (long tweets) or just personal comments, but this can’t go unaddressed, it must be discussed.

Here is a preview of what this commenter has been leaving me: (Spam or Advertisement comments)
1. Arcadia said...
I am not actually certain if top practices contain emerged about things similar to that, other than I am confident that your great work is visibly discovered. I was wondering if you offer any membership toward your RSS feeds because I would be very interested. New Car Loan Rates (I removed link)

On article: Is this drawing a 1930's Ford 5 window coupe or 19... on 3/10/11

2. Arcadia said...
Was just reading an write-up related to this to the bbc. From the way, your sidebar is all messed up in my web browser - im employing world wide web explorer 7. Aside from that, cool blog, thanks. Used Car Loan Rates (I removed link)

On article: Will the raising gasoline prices across the United... on 3/4/11

3. Arcadia said...
Get upset! Simply letting the quota happen isn’t acceptable. Now this will let you take the next steps to becoming successful. Used Car Loan Rates (I removed link)

On article: Spectacular last lap crash saves Dario Franchitti ... on 3/4/11
These three (spam/advertisement comments) are just a sample of what I have received from this so-called commenter, the only reason I even noticed is that my blogging platform right now on Blogger has a spam folder and these three were in it. Other comments like this from this person have made it through the spam filter and where rejected and deleted.

These comments above violate at least two basic guidelines, one it doesn’t add to the discussion, two, it has a giant advertisement (namely the textlink) inside it. The comment isn’t related to anything.

Now if anyone wants to leave a comment here on RaceDriven.com, please feel free to do so, only under the guidelines that:

1. You must sign-in with your name or username to leave a comment
2. The comment adds to the discussion
3. The comment is clean with no personal attacks
4. The comment has no advertisements inside them
5. You may include a link to a useful article on an external site only if it adds to the discussion.

And I will respond to the comment if a response is needed. Otherwise if a comment is received that violates one or more of the guidelines, the comment will be rejected, deleted and maybe made into a post on what no to do (made an example of). RaceDriven.com is my blog and whatever comment is left, I can republish the comment in a post on RaceDriven if I so choose without saying a word.

Here is a few comments that I accepted and makes a statement:
1. DaleJarrett4Ever said...
Hats off to Gordon on a fantastic win. He is right, he stinks at burnouts and even stalls the car out after it but what a driver he is and such a class act. I thought it funny he had the same saying as Bayne last weekend.."Are you kidding me"

Congrats to Jeff and his team.

2. buyamericanchallenge said...
You are right, it is hard to find the information you were looking for on parts content.

Everyone, here is the link to the report on parts content for cars sold in the U.S. Any information you here on American-made parts content came from this report.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/AALA/AALA2010p.pdf

I give your friend credit for trying to buy American. For cars, it is so important to buy American because it is such a big purchase, we really can do a lot to create American jobs in just that one decision.
Both comment above are good comments. The first one deliveries a solid opinion and I agree with his too. The second comment is full of information and an opinion. He gave me a useful link that worked.

I hope that this article shows what not to do in the comment.

Note: Readers should know that I’m considering “hiding comments”, meaning not allowing anyone to comment anymore and be done with this feature. And if readers want to say anything to me, they can email me or maybe I will setup a separate site like on Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr or whatever for comments to be posted there in the future.

Feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fan Insight: Tony Stewart upset over finishing 2nd despite being tied for Cup Series Points lead with Kurt Busch.

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Welcome readers, this past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday and the Cup Series on Sunday were in action, and boy did both series put on an interesting show.

On Saturday, the Nationwide Series was in action with plenty of on-track action that was fast and filled with cautions due to some aggressive driving. But the race would come down to fuel economy and who had to pit and who didn’t with Mark Martin squeezing out a victory.

But on Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 500, Carl Edward’s crew chief made the right call on pit road calling for two tires and fuel to come out in front of second place Tony Stewart and hold on for his first victory of 2011.
 
Notebook:

1. Josh Wise takes flight early on in Nationwide race: During the early laps of the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Josh Wise would get loss, turn towards the infield, run through the grass and in doing so, launches into the air with all four tires leaving the ground before landing hard back in the grass. What a sight to see, may word Wise goes airborn. It’s something that you normally don’t see in NASCAR racing and ill make the highlight reel for sure. (Photo above)

2. Tony Stewart upset over finishing 2nd? On Sunday after the race, Tony Stewart said on pit road that they through the victory away and that second place sucks. While I questioned why Tony Stewart was so upset, I do give him credit for at least being fully honest. I would say that Stewart’s crew will have to explain why he lost the race.

I believe that while Tony Stewart did have a strong car on the second to final run on two tires that showed the other teams that a two-tire stop could mean speed and possibly victory. And since Tony Stewart had already taken two-tires for track position on that previous stop, they couldn’t take two-tires again, so the team was forced to change four tires instead. Meanwhile the #99 would change two-tires and have enough of a lead to hold on for the victory. Simply put on Stewart, he lost because of pit strategy and the air hose penalty on pit road.

But Stewart is now tied for the points lead with Kurt Busch, so that is something to be happy with and a good strong performance on Sunday.

3. Mark Martin wins Nationwide Series race: On Saturday, it was cool to once again see Mark Martin capture another Nationwide victory, his 49th in the (now) Nationwide Series. But the victory also meant that Kyle Busch wouldn’t win and that’s cool too.

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbing to 10th in the points? Yes readers, Dale Jr. and the entire #88 team is trying to turn things around in 2011 and with the exception of being caught up in a wreck at Daytona, Dale Jr. managed to earn back-to-back top 10ths (Phoenix and Las Vegas) which has propelled him to 10th in the points, tied with Mark Martin.

5. Danica Patrick gets best career finish at Las Vegas: Raising NASCAR star Danica Patrick continues to improve in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in her second part-time season by gambling on fuel, staying out of trouble and making some good passes to come away with her best career finish in NASCAR, a fourth place finish.

6. Fueling issues gets to several teams in Cup Series especially: On Sunday especially, several NASCAR teams even after two full races are still having issues trying to fuel these car with his new self-venting fuel can. The new fuel can is a welcome change, but its does no good for the sport if the new idea isn’t working correctly and that was bluntly seen on the #16-Greg Biffle Ford. Biffle had a good car all day long, but refueling issues just killed his chances on Sunday at least getting a top 10 finish.

I don’t know what the problem is, but I hope the #16 team figures this one out and firing the gas man isn’t the answer.

Well readers, this ones a wrap from Las Vegas, but the momentum will be lost as the Cup Series and Nationwide Series have there first off weekend after three races. What a killer there. However, now all eyes are on the Camping World Truck Series this week as on Saturday, they would take on Darlington. The lady in black and the track too tough to tame should be a good one for sure.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What repairs should hybrid car owners go to the dealership for?

Welcome readers, with gasoline prices not only here in the United States, but internationally going up, it is likely that once gasoline prices go beyond $4.00 per gallon here in the U.S., consumers will opt not only to change their driving habits, but some will buy or trade up their current vehicle for a vehicle that has better fuel economy.

As a matter fact, while consumers do have several options, according to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, they found that approximately six out of 10 consumers say they would look at a gas/electric hybrid when the time comes to replace their current vehicle.

So since there are already hundreds of thousands of hybrids already on the road and more consumers expecting to buy hybrids in the near future, AutoMD.com has some advice for hybrid owners on what are the top 5 repairs they can do themselves vs. the top 5 repairs hybrid owners should leave repairs to the experts and take the hybrid to a dealership.

Top Five Hybrid Car Repairs for DIYers/Independent Repair Shop:
1. Oil and Filter Change
2. Brake Repairs
3. Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement
4. Tire Maintenance
5. Fluid Check

However just like in many of today’s modern cars, there are currently repairs that consumers should take there vehicles to an expert and in the case of hybrid owners, that is even more important.

Top five Hybrid Car repairs for dealership experts:
1. Battery Replacement
2. Electric Motor Repairs
3. Motor Controller Repairs
4. Electrical Connections and Computer Controls
5. Diagnosing a Problem

In the case of most repairs on a given modern vehicle whether it’s a hybrid vehicle or not, the independent repair shop that is certified will work just fine. However especially in hybrid cars, the dealership is the best place to go for repairs on current components that need that trained expert for those components.

Source: AutoMD.com

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Upset over gasoline prices: U.S. drivers are paying about $4 per gallon while U.K drivers are paying about $8 per gallon, why?

Yesterday I wrote an article called “Will the raising gasoline prices across the United States and internationally make drivers change their driving habits or even buy a more fuel efficient vehicle?”.

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In that article, I discussed and agreed with LeaseTrader.com that most consumers wouldn’t really change their driving habits or even go further and buy a different vehicle with better fuel economy until gasoline prices here in the United States top $4 per gallon.

Even more though, over the last 24-48 hours especially here in the United States, several states have already seen a few and I mean few gas stations top $4 per gallon. It certainly is weird, but not uncommon to see gas prices in any given state differ as much as 50 cents per gallon. Here in Massachusetts, that has already been proven with some gas stations saying they have to charge that much to stay in business because they sell a fifth in gallons of what major gas stations do.

On the other side of this debate, one article that I read recently that is called “U.S. Drivers: Shut Up, Stop Whining, You Don't Pay $8/Gallon”. The article highlights the fact that while U.S. drivers are paying about $4 per gallon, over in Europe, London in particular is paying double that at $8 per Gallon. Of course I should mention that they get charged per liter and a gallon is larger here in the U.S. then in the U.K..

However one wouldn’t be so quick to agree or disagree because there are a few simple reasons why London in particular is paying and yet why U.S. drivers should still be upset.

First, U.S. drivers have every right to be upset over high gas prices and what they pay at the pumps.

One reason is gasoline prices are a nightmare in the U.S. especially, they change daily and I mean change daily from fuel station to fuel station. Two, the United States is actually behind a lot of countries including in London itself, in that our primary fuel is gasoline. And without gasoline, we aren’t going to work, we aren’t shopping or just setting out and driving around for whatever reason.

Three, here in the United States, while we do have diesel (and bio-diesel) as well as E85, but we don’t have many diesel and E85 vehicles on the road and E85 isn’t available everywhere. Diesel on the other hand is many used for 18 wheelers. Simply put, our fuel supply is mainly gasoline even though some cars do run on E85, bio-diesel and diesel. We even have hydrogen pumps at a few fuel stations around the country.

But it’s a completely different story in other countries. One country in particular and the reason for this article is the United Kingdom. First and for most, if you live in the U.K., you also have every right to be upset over gasoline and diesel prices, they are double what U.S. drivers pay.

Right now in the U.K., I would say that while the average price of gasoline is around double he price if the U.S., there actually price per gallon without taxes is without a $1 of the United States.

However I’m sure your asking, well they why are gasoline prices about double, well that’s easy, one word, taxes. In the U.K., they have a lot of taxes that they have to pay in order to own a car and that includes what they pay for each gallon or liter in there case of gasoline.

A perfect example of that is here in the U.S., our gasoline tax comes both from the federal government which hasn’t changed since 1993 and from each state. Basically there is a federal gas tax and a state gas tax. Each state charges a different amount in tax. New York and Connecticut are high compared to other states.

While in the U.K. that is completely different, U.K drivers have to pay fuel duty tax:

“From 4th January 2011 the UK duty rate for the road fuels unleaded petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol is GB£0.5895 per litre (£2.65 per imperial gallon or £2.20 per U.S. gallon). Value Added Tax at 20% is also charged on the price of the fuel and on the duty.” – Wikipedia

Yeah you read that right, each liter has a fuel duty tax and a value added tax on top of the actual per liter cost of gasoline. Damn that’s big.

By the way, that an extra about $4.00 per liter or gallon tax in U.S. funds which is double the price of U.S. It’s all in the taxes that are added. However there is also one other thing, unlike here in the U.S. which mainly runs on gasoline for cars and diesel for 18 wheelers, the U.K. has a wider range of alternative fuels to use and the vehicles to back it up from gasoline, diesel, to biodiesel, E85 and more.

Hopefully this article explains a little bit of why U.S. drivers and U.K. drivers pay what they pay and the fact is, U.S. drivers have every right to upset over gasoline prices partly due to the fact that they do jump so much, as much as $1-2 in such a short period of time. I’ve seen 30 cents different over a weekend and that’s not right. Basically we don’t have as many options.

For the United States, we need alternative fuels and vehicle that runs on them in order to reduce our dependents on foreign oil.

As for the U.K. drivers as well as in other countries, you have every right to be upset to, that is expensive. The best advice I can give is when buying your next vehicle, find one with good fuel economy and maybe not on gasoline if an alternative fuel is available in your area.

Will the raising gasoline prices across the United States and internationally make drivers change their driving habits or even buy a more fuel efficient vehicle?

Welcome readers, one of the top stories not only here in the United States, but internationally as well is the raising gasoline prices. As a matter fact, one of the top stories and consistent stories on the morning, evening and late news programs as well as online and through drivers themselves is the once again raising gasoline prices that drivers are encountering at local gas stations.
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These changes on the gasoline prices seem to be moving forward sort of like the gasoline prices back in the summer of 2008 and while we aren’t at $4.00 per gallon yet here in the U.S., several people are already predicting that gasoline prices will continue to rise well over the $4 per gallon mark.

So since many consumers really haven’t changed their current driving habits yet, the question is: “At what price per gallon of gasoline will consumers began to not only change their driving habits, but even go so far as to buy a different vehicle with better fuel economy?”

According to LeaseTrader.com, who is using data from back in the summer of 2008, they believe that consumers wouldn’t change current habits or upgrade their vehicle for that matter until gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon here in the United States.

Numbers from the summer of 2008 show that once gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon, 78% of all leased SUV/trucks transfers were due to high gasoline prices. Consumers simply wanted better fuel economy or to reduce their fuel consumption.

Going along with that data from back in the summer of 2008, the headlines at that time read where several consumers where making huge changes including altering their driving habit and trading in their vehicles for better fuel economy vehicles.

Consumers would be buying small cars, small SUV’s, hybrids and more, except big vehicles. Headlines also highlighted that consumers were driving hundreds of thousands of miles less during that year compared to previous years.

A lot of consumers would take several suggestions that were made at the time and combine trips where they could and in some cases just stay home altogether. Consumers would only take trips that were needed which commonly included driving to work and once a week heading out for groceries.

And if consumers during that time needed additional items, they would either pick it up on their journey to or from work or wait until the day they headed out for groceries and combine that trip with whatever else they wanted.

But at the same time, once gasoline prices did finally in fact return to a somewhat normal level, consumers returned not only to their old driving habits with driving a lot more, but many would once again be turned back on to buying larger vehicles with no regard to future gasoline prices and only to what was currently going on.

So now that gasoline prices are rising again, LeaseTrader.com believes drivers won't take specific action (reduced gas consumption, exiting lease contracts) until gas reaches $4 per gallon.

Personally from what I have seen so far out of most consumers here in the U.S., I agree with LeaseTrader.com in that drivers wouldn’t take major action until gasoline prices reach $4 per gallon.

However I do believe that while most consumers wouldn’t make changes in their current driving habits until bigger gasoline prices hit, I do see several consumers are already making changes now and that’s a good thing.

I know that in my family, we have already make changes to our driving habits by combining trips once again, not wanted to take long non-justified trips and just staying local if we go out at all.

As for car buying, we have already made changes their too. Two months ago when searching for another pre-owned car, we choice to skip the SUV with low fuel economy and go with a family sedan with better fuel economy that would meet our needs including AWD (and at least assembled in the United States, that’s another subject altogether.)

I would think that most consumers would do the same and be proactive, instead of reactive, but not yet. Consumers are still driving heavily.

Finally as far as how high gasoline prices will go, when will they come back down and to what level? I would say $4 per gallon will unfortunately happen over the next few months here in the U.S. and we will see the same reaction as we did in the summer 2008.

Look for an influx of vehicle models for transfer and trade-ins, including the Chevy Silverado and Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra, Ford Expedition, Mercedes GL, BMW X5 and more.

As for the future, namely when will gasoline prices return? I believe that will take a while, maybe even towards early winter (November-December 2011) and then I don’t believe that we will see anything below $3 per gallon. Basically if you’re making changes, you should make them long term changes.