Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bobby Labonte's New Ride for 2010, and other News

Bobby Labonte has a full time ride for 2010.  Good for him--he is one of the very good guys in NASCAR.  And, as a former Champion, he brings a lot of perks to a team without much status.  Bobby will be driving the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet for team owner Kevin Buckler.  Hopefully the team will be competitive.  Bobby will surely get everything he can out of the car.  Here is a link to the short story in USA Today:

Carl Edwards won the Nationwide race in Phoenix.  With only one race left in the season, Kyle Busch will be the champion if he can start the final race next week in Homestead, Florida.  Nice win for Carl, but he couldn't perform his signature back flip due to the broken foot he suffered earlier in the season.  Carl did a lame somersault instead.  Hopefully he will be doing a lot of back flips next year. 

Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski continued their season long on track feud.  Should be interesting next year when Brad drives full time on the NEXTEL Sprint Cup circuit.  Seems like a lot of guys want  a piece of him.  Here is a summary of yesterday's race from USA Today:

Next to last Sprint Cup race today in Phoenix.  My guess is Jimmy Johnson will finish well, maybe even win, and lock up the Cup going into the last race of the season. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Denny Hamlin Wins @ Martinsville

Denny Hamlin won today at Martinsville.  Virginia boys love to win at home so good for him.  I find it interesting with all the hoopla around Kyle Busch that Denny has become the most consistent Gibbs team driver.  Good for Denny.  Sure was a great move by Toyota to sign the Gibbs team a couple of years ago.  Gibbs has given Toyota a lot of wins. 

Jimmie Johnson extended his lead in the Chase.  If he gets through Talladega next weekend with the lead, I don't think he can be stopped.  He'll be on his way to his 4th championship and accepting all the accolades at the banquet in Las Vegas in early December. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NASCAR Announces More Consistent Start Times in 2010

Most Sunday races will start at 1:00 Eastern Time next year, NASCAR announced today.  Good idea.  True race fans will know when most races will begin, and fans who go to the track will be able to see the races, and maybe even get home the same day.  Old School!  And, in the DVR era, it doesn't really matter when the races start for TV watchers, other than to figure out when to set the recording to start. 

Here is the link to the article:

Sorry I haven't been updating this blog as much lately.  Will try to be more diligent the rest of the season. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Great, Exciting Race @ Loudon, New Hampshire

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race today in New Hampshire was exciting, not a mileage race, which is unusual.  Many of the New Hampshire races have been quite boring in past years but today there was plenty of two-,  and at times, three-wide racing.  Lot's of bumping and pushing toward the end of the race, more like what happens at Martinsville or Bristol.  Juan Pablo Montoya led the most laps, and was right there at the end, but finished third, behind Denny Hamlin and the winner, Mark Martin.  Yes, Mark Martin won the 1st race of the Chase!  Very exciting for Mark, his fans, and I think NASCAR to have a veteran like Mark contending so seriously for what he hopes will be his first NASCAR Championship.  That is what Rick Hendrick hired him to do, win a championship this year.  I hope he will do it, though I'd also like to see Tony Stewart win as well.  Good to have an AARP member (at least he is eligible to be a member) leading the Chase. 

And, what was Juan Pablo mumbling about after the race, something like Mark crowded him down in the corner, and Juan Pablo could have hit him, but he has a lot of respect for Mark, and decided to not push him out of the way.  Not sure Juan Pablo would have gotten out of New Hampshire if he had wrecked Mark Martin in the last laps of the race today.  Juan, just win races, and the rest will take care of itself.  

Tough day for Junior.  He was running really well, up to 4th place, when David Reutimann went into a corner underneath Junior, and, as Junior said, "Ran out of talent", and wiped Dale out.  I really hope Dale can have a good fall, even win a race or two to set up a very good 2010 season. 

Off to Dover for Race 2 of the Chase!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Exciting Weekend @ Atlanta

I watched both races from Atlanta this past Labor Day weekend.  What a dominating performance by Kevin Harvick Saturday night in the Nationwide Series race.  He was in control all night long.  Of course, Atlanta is special for Kevin since he won his first Cup race there after taking over for the late Dale Earnhardt after his untimely death at Daytona.  Kevin always runs well in Atlanta and he was the best Saturday night.  Nice to see him do well.  On Sunday night, Kasey Kahne was there at the end with the best car.  It has been interesting to see Kasey over the last couple of years.  I remember when he took the Budweiser sponsorship after Dale Jr. switched teams.  Many didn't think Kasey could carry the Budweiser torch but he sure has done a good job.  And Dodge must be happy to have him.  Good year for Dodges with Kurt Busch and Kasey both in the chase, along with Juan Pablo. 

On to Richmond, and determining who is in and out of the Chase.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Exciting Finish at Bristol!

Great finish at Bristol Saturday night. Classy racing between Mark Martin and Kyle Busch over those last 5 or 6 laps. Either one of them could have wrecked the other but they didn't. They were clearly the class of the field and showed it at the end. Nice finish for Dale Jr, 5th for the second week in a row.

Off to Richmond and Atlanta before the chase begins!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Marcos Ambrose wins Nationwide Race @ Watkins Glen Saturday, Finishes 2nd in Sprint Cup Monday

Marcos Ambrose won the Nationwide Race Saturday at Watkins Glen and then finished second today in the Sprint Cup race. Big weekend for him at The Glen. Carl Edwards was third, Biffle had a top five, as did Kyle Busch. Kyle was pretty grumpy after the race. More later.

Oh, Tony Stewart won the race, 3rd this year, extending his lead in the points. Great season for Tony and his team.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NASCAR is Back at The Glen, Watkins Glen, That Is

NASCAR SPRINT Cup drivers and teams will be taking on the second and last road course of the season this weekend at my home track, Watkins Glen. I went to my first race at Watkins Glen when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My brother Bill and some of his friends took me along--they probably didn't have any choice--to watch sports cars, those funny little two seater European cars, and also the predecessors of Formula 1. Saw all the great road course drivers over the years, Sterling Moss, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, and so many more. Also saw all kinds of cars and motorcycles race there, FI, Can-Am, Trans-Am, and of course eventually the real race cars, NASCAR stock cars. Even saw some drag racing there in the 60's.

Then the track went quiet for around 10 years in the 70's and into the 80's. Corning Inc., formerly Corning Glass Works, bought the track in the early 80's to spur tourism to the area, in part to help soften the blow of decreased manufacturing employment in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region of New York. NASCAR was a major part in the resurgence of The Glen. NASCAR was getting hot, thanks to ESPN TV coverage, and The Glen benefited from the resurgence.

I attended the first three or four NASCAR races at the Glen, before the little chicane was put in on the backstretch to slow the cars down before the tough downhill 180 degree turn at the end of the very long straightaway where speeds were reaching 175 or so mph. Geoff Bodine took a wild ride in the grass into the tire piles, one of the worse crashes he ever had. And I was there in 1991 when J.D. McDuffie died after he lost control at the end of the backstretch. I will never forget seeing his car come back on the wrecker all covered with a tarp. We knew he had died when we saw the car all covered up. Tragic. But of course, the race went on! And, many safety improvements were added, most notably the "kitty-litter" gravel areas to catch and slow cars when they go off the track to keep them from hitting the retaining walls at great speed.

The double-file restarts will be fun to watch. Turn 1 is one of the most exciting turns in racing, as far as I'm concerned, all about going as fast as you can down the front straight and then out-braking your opponent to get the preferred line through the corner. Lead going out of turn one and you will probably lead the rest of the way around.

Hopefully the weather will be beautiful in the Finger Lakes this weekend. If you never been to that part of New York State, you should go, and short of that, enjoy the views of the area you will see on TV during the race. The Glen is a special track, one of the most historic in the U.S. Enjoy!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Denny Hamlin Wins Pocono

Okay Tom, this for you, since you may be the only person reading this. I picked Hamlin on Saturday, didn't I? Just had a feeling he could pull it off since he won twice in one season two years ago. He was a man on a mission today. I listened to most of the race on the radio while at work. Sounded like a pretty exciting race for a Pocono. And what about Jimmy Johnson and his team! Came back from being three laps down to finishing 13th.

Speaking of listening to the race on the radio, was actually pretty cool. For those of you who haven't listened to races on the radio, it is pretty exciting. MRN does a great job covering races. What is really entertaining is that there are reporters in each corner and they tell you what is going in every lap all the way around the track. Makes you be able to "see" what is going on. Pretty exciting.

Watching Victory Lane on Speed. Great show to see the whole race in an hour with commentary. Lot's of rough driving there today. Looks like maybe Denny should have been penalized a lap for pushing David Reutimann out of the way. Robbie Gordon and David Stremme were held for five laps for rough driving. Tough penalty but well reserved.

Off to my home track, the road course at Watkins Glen next weekend.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Qualifying Rained Out @ Pocono, Stewart Has Pole

Qualifying was rained out at Pocono today so Tony Stewart will be starting on the pole, with Jimmy Johnson starting right next to him. I told my buddy Tom today that my choice for the weekend is Denny Hamlin since he won both events last year but my real hope is that Tony can lead from start to finish. We'll see.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Juan Pablo Montoya--No Whining in NASCAR

Okay, Juan Pablo, you screwed up. Your team gave you a great pit stop when you needed it. You didn't need to speed into and out of the pits. You lead all day by 5 seconds or more. You just screwed up, so own up to it and shut up. You are a great race car driver, but whining is unbecoming. When you are a winner, and a consistent leader, you don't make these mistakes. Practice going up and down pit road a bit more so you don't make this mistake again.

Jimmy Johnson Wins The Brickyard 400

Jimmie Johnson won The Brickyard 400 yesterday in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cream rises to the top and Jimmie is certainly the cream of NASCAR racing. And, the Hendrick team is the best by so far it isn't even funny. Mark Martin was second, Tony Stewart was third (using a lot of Hendrick equipment), and Jeff Gordon was 9th. Add in Ryan Newman (again, Stewart's second car, and another quasi Hendrick car), in 14th, and you have 5 of 6 Hendrick cars in the top 15. In the season-long standings, Tony the Tiger is first, "Superman" Jimmie Johnson (what Mark Martin called him after Johnson won yesterday) is second, Jeff Gordon is third, Ryan Newman is seventh, and Markie Mark Martin is ninth. The only one missing is Jr. and he is mired back in the pack. Pretty amazing performance for Hendrick and Chevrolet.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carl Edwards wins Kroger 200 Nationwide Race

Carl Edwards started 42nd, raced through the field, and won the Kroger 200 Saturday night in Indianapolis. After the race he said he thinks the fields should be inverted with the fastest cars starting in the back. That is the way most short tracks start their fields for the feature races, with the season-long points leaders in the back. Most often, barring some misfortune, the cream rises to the top, and the fastest cars/drivers make it to the front by the end of the 30 lap feature. Interesting idea.

Kyle Busch finished second, after starting 41st.

Brickyard 400 tomorrow.

Mark Martin Wins Pole for Brickyard 400!

Mark Martin won the pole today for tomorrow's Brickyard 400. What a season he is having! Jr. will start 3rd, one of his best qualifying rounds in a long time, despite him having a bad stomach virus. And, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville will start 4th. Would be amazing to see him win a big race one more time. He can certainly still wheel it around a track. Hopefully the race will be exciting tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kenseth Loses Sponsor Dewalt Tools

Matt Kenseth and Roush/Fenwick racing will be losing Dewalt Tools as their primary sponsor at the end of this season.

Will probably be a pattern. We will probably see more cars next year with no major sponsorship, and local sponsorship for a race or two, think "Dave's Lawn Care" on one fender and "Bob's BP Service Station on another!

Also see Brickyard attendance is going to be way down this year. So, if you are in the Indy area, go over and buy a ticket.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mark Martin Wins for 4th Time in 2009

Opps, said last night Mark won for the 3rd time in 2009. Actually, Mark has one 4 times this year, the most of any Sprint Cup driver. Great for Mark and his Hendrick team.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mark Martin Wins at Chicagoland

Just caught the end of the race, restart with 3 laps to go. Mark Martin wins after leading 95 laps. Pretty good for the 50 year old. Hendrick looks like a genious for signing Mark, think this is his third win this year and he is eleventh in points. Waiting to watch the victory lane celebration in just a minute. Very cook for Mark.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Logano Wins Nationwide Race at Chicago Land

19 year old Joey Logano wins another Nationwide Series race at Chicago Land Friday night by not taking tires. Kyle Busch finished second. The Gibb's team finishes 1-2 for the sixth time this season in the Nationwide Series. Pretty amazing. What were you doing at 19? Probably not driving a race car around a track at 150-175 miles an hour. Joey is certainly a star already and should be one for many years to come.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another Win for Tony the Tiger!

Tony the Tiger Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Saturday night. Nice win for Tony, and it continues his great 1st season as an owner/driver. And Kyle Busch, as great a driver as he is, and will be, made a costly mistake, but really didn't have much of a choice. He was a sitting duck, as most leaders are in restrictor plate races. Usually the worst place to be is up front with less than a lap to go. Good for Tony, the second half of the season will be exciting.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Joey Logano Gets 1st Win

Joey wins first NASCAR Sprint Cup Race: Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot car, won his first Sprint Cup race today in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon, New Hampshire. Good for Joey, Gibbs Racing, and Toyota. The Gibbs team was 1-2 yesterday in the Nationwide race with Kyle Busch finishing first and Joey finishing second. Let's see, what was I doing at 19? Watching stock car races, working summer and part-time jobs, going to college, trying to figure out how I would eventually make a living. Joey reminds me of pilots I see flying commuter planes I ride on. I often want to ask if the pilots have driver's licenses but then I realize that they don't need to have driver's licenses to fly planes.

As I said earlier, the double file restarts in NASCAR are exciting, and will change the results of races, especially as they come later in the events. Good rules change!

Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Underway at Loudon, New Hampshire

The Lenox Industrial Tools 301 is underway at Loudon, New Hampshire. Jeff Gordon is leading early in the race. Gordon and Kurt Busch have been running neck-and-neck so far. Tony Stewart fell back after starting on the pole.

The double-file restarts after cautions have been exciting. These restarts bring our the lead-lap cars a lot closer to the leader. Pretty cool, good rule change by NASCAR.

Kyle Busch won the Nationwide Series race yesterday at Loudon. I watched the last twenty or so laps. Nice day for the Gibbs team, with Kyle finishing first and Joey Logano finishing 2nd.

Just restarted the race and Kurt Busch took the lead when the green flag dropped. Looks like one of the more exciting Loudon races so far.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Full Weekend--Sprint, Nationwide, and Camping World Trucks

Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams are in Loudon, New Hampshire, this weekend while the trucks are in Memphis. Exciting weekend. You've got the 200 in the truck series Saturday, and the Nationwide Camping World RV Sales 200 also on Saturday. Haven't looked, but bet the truck race is a night race. And then Sunday, it is the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 for the Sprint Cup boys. Hope the weather holds out for all these events and we have some good racing to watch!

Go Tony! And Dale Jr., how about it--time to win!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Richard Petty and Beer Sponsors

I had forgotten about Richard Petty and his aversion to beer and alcohol sponsors on his cars. He has never had one! He is in a bit of a pickle now with Kasey Kahne and the Budweiser #9, a car, number, and sponsor he inherited when his team and the former Evernham teams merged earlier this year. He says his momma would never put up with a beer or alcohol sponsor on one of his cars. He is reconciling the current dilemna by not allowing Budweiser on the two original Petty cars he brought to the team. I'm sure he is okay with cashing those Budweiser sponsor checks though.

Richard did have glass of red wine after Kasey won in Sonoma Sunday, saying that is why he likes to go to Napa and Sonoma! Good for Richard, a glass of red is always good for you now and then, like every day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kasey Kahne Wins At Sonoma

The number 9 Budweiser car wins in wine country. Good for Kasey Kahne and Richard Petty Motorsports. It has been ten years since a Petty car has been to Victory Lane. It is still unclear how long Petty can keep a team afloat but this helps them a lot, for now.

Tony the Tiger had another very good race, finishing second. Sure is looking like another championship season for him. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mark Martin Wins At Michigan

  1. Mark Martin wins at Michigan: Mark Martin won at Michigan after watching Jimmy Johnson and Greg Biffle run out of gas in the last two laps. I told my friend Tom my prediction was Ryan Newman or Jr. would win, but that whoever won, gas mileage would be the key--always is at Michigan. Martin could never win mileage races with Roush--they weren't the mileage kings. Hendrick has now won two mileage races in a row--Pocono and Michigan. Good for Mark!
  2. Johnny Benson seriously hurt in SuperModified race: Johnny lost his truck ride early last week and was seriously hurt Saturday night at Berlin Speedway in Grand Rapids, MI, in the second lap of a SuperModified race. He is in serious but stable condition. Let's all pray for a full recovery for Johnny--he is one to the best guys in NASCAR.
  3. Joey Logano wins at KY: Joey held off Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Race at Kentucky Speedway, where he won his first NASCAR series race last year. Good for him, good for Gibbs, and good for Toyota at their home track.

Friday, June 12, 2009

GM/Chevy Pulls Support from Nationwide and Camping World Series

General Motors, aka Chevy for NASCAR purposes, announced today they are pulling support from the Nationwide and Camping World series. Not surprising. Heard this morning that GM stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Makes one wonder what is next but expect at least a reduction of GM support for the Nextel Sprint Cup series as well. Could this mean that teams will have to rely mostly on their own resources and those of their sponsors? Could be very interesting, and even take racing back to its roots where one-team cars can compete with the bigger teams, and the bigger teams will get smaller. Tough part is this has to mean fewer jobs in Charlotte area.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tony the Tiger Wins at Pocono--1st Win As Owner/Driver

Tony Stewart won the Pocono 500, his first win as an owner/driver. Pretty cool. Last 20 or so laps of the race was all about saving fuel by going slow. Good for Tony. No one expected his new team to be able to compete, let alone win. He sits comfortably on top of the points race, and his second team car driven by Ryan Newman is also in the top ten in points. Pretty amazing.

Was really special to see Tony's dad lean in the car to give him a big hug after the race.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Double File ReStarts in NASCAR--Great Mid-Season Rule Change

See this article in USA Today, Great rule change, no more lap cars on inside on restarts. Just like Saturday night at the local short track, two-by-two restarts, lap cars in the back. Should make for great racing, closer finishes.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reutimann Wins Coca Cola 340.5

David Reutimann won the Coca Cola 340 and a half mile race Monday. Boring race, with many cautions and red flags, but it was the best decision to stop the race though it is always so anticlimatic. Good for David, and Mikey, Michael Waltrip Racing, and Toyota. This is the first win for a non-Joe Gibbs Toyota team. Many may say David didn't deserve the win but he was in first place when the race was called so he gets the trophy and money. Nice to see Ryan Newman "finish" second. Tough day for Jr, finishing 40th.

Dover Monster Mile is next--Trucks, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup. Big weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ryan Newman wins Pole for Coca Cola 600

Ryan Newman will be starting numero uno Sunday in the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Tony Stewart, Newman's owner, won the All Star race there last weekend so wouldn't it be nice for Ryan to get his first Cup win for the new team there this weekend. The 600 is an endurance race, starting in the afternoon and ending way into the night, but starting up front is a good thing.

And I see Bill Elliott is starting 10th. He can still wheel a car around the track! Awesome Bill from Dawsonville! How cool would it be to see him win one more time!

One more thought early this morning--I think it is time for Jr., one of my favorite drivers, to start winning consistently (3-5 times a year) or for Mr. Hendrick to move Jr.'s cousin Tony out of the crew chief chair. All the other Hendrick teams are doing much better than Jr. and it is time for him and his team to perform. He will always be a favorite of mine but the time to win is now.

Enjoy the racing weekend. Lot's of DVR storage will be taken up with Indy, Coca Cola 600, and other racing from around the country.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All Star Race

Great win for Tony Stewart in the All Star race. Unfortunately, for me, the whole event is too long. This race almost always comes down to the last 10 lap segment and the rest of the segments are relatively boring. Racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway is generally boring. I know it isn't for the drivers because it is a hard place to drive, and it seems they need to be on their toes all the time. Just not very exciting to watch, in my opinion.

600 this weekend--talk about boring! Day into night is interesting but wow, 600 miles. Maybe it's time to change the world's longest race on an oval to 400 miles like the summer Daytona race.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jeremy Mayfield Suspended for Violating NASCAR Banned Substance Rule

Jeremy Mayfield has been banned from racing in NASCAR for failing to pass a random drug test. He says the failure was due to a bad "cocktail" of prescription and over-the-counter allergy drugs. Yeah, sure, Jeremy, that's it! I am a firm believer in innocent till proven guilty but this isn't a legal, let's get to court issue. There won't be a judge and jury. In NASCAR, for better or worse, the France family sets the rules, and when you violate them, you can't play, or in this case, race, anymore. Seems one or two other members of Jeremy's team have been suspended for substance violations this year as well so there may be a cultural problem in and around his team. Tough times--take your cars and go home.

Very little sympathy from me on these kind of violations. Major League Baseball might not be in the shape it is today had they implemented testing and harsh punishments much earlier. Same with the NFL. The one major difference between the NFL, MLB, and the NBA are the unions representing the players, and contesting every charge, taking all issues to arbitration, etc., delaying suspensions, and even preventing them in some cases. In NASCAR, for better or worse, the ruling is the ruling and that is it. Every now and then the competition committee adjusts a fine for leaving a bolt loose, or lowering the car a centimeter, or something else deemed to increase the advantage one team has over the rest, but it is very rare to see a fine or punishment lowered. There are plenty of other teams and drivers, even in this tough economic environment, to fill-out the 43 car field each week when one of the teams or drivers moves on.

The working man, NASCAR fan knows about these rules. Many, many employers require passing a drug test to get or keep a job today. Them's the rules! And, if you operate machinery of any kind, you may be required to randomly "pee in a cup" to prove you aren't under the influence of any banned substances. You can disagree with the principle, but employees know they have to be clean to get and keep jobs.

So, Jeremy, the best advice I have for you is to come clean, apologize to the fans you have, get into rehab (even though I'm sure you don't need it) and get on with your car owner/driver career, if the France family decides you can.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kyle Busch Doubles Up in Richmond

Can't say Kyle is my favorite driver by a very long shot but he is certainly the most talented young driver in NASCAR right now, maybe the most talented driver of any age. Over the last two years he has driven everything he can each weekend, trucks, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup, winning often. Joe Gibbs has to be happy with Kyle, and Toyota must be ecstatic. If he smells the front of the pack, he is there and usually wins. Definitely a hungry-for-wins driver.

Nice to see Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman finish so well. Tony's team is doing so well for the their first year. Seems like they are very close to winning, and winning often. Both teams are doing well and I like both Tony and Ryan, the Indiana boys.

Off to Saturday night at Darlington, keeping the NASCAR tradition of no racing on Mother's Day. Love Saturday night racing on television.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Upon Further Reflection

Tallagega, upon further reflection. Most drivers don't like Talladega, or Daytona. A few don't seem to mind, however, and I wonder if it is because they are the ones who really want to race, no matter where they are, and have figured out the risks, and balanced them against the rewards. For example, you don't see Dale Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Mikey Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, or Jimmy Johnson hanging out in the back of the pack all day, trying to be safe. These guys want to lead laps, run up front, and seem to be willing to take the chance that something bad will happen, or they will win. I love Carl Edwards to death, but he should have been up front all day mixing it up. While I agree there is a better solution to what we have seen in recent years at Talladega, it is what it is, and many drivers get up front and mix it up all day, and survive. Dale and his daddy are good examples. You have to know what needs to be done and go do it. Now those caught up in the early big one may be glad to be out, alive, and ready to go home (Mark Martin), in the end they would rather be there at the end to have a chance to win the race.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Talladega--Scary Crash

Talladega--two "Big Ones", then arguably the biggest, most dramatic one at the end. Brad Keselowski "won" the race and almost all the drivers seem to hate the racing dictated by restrictor plates to hold speeds down. I've said for years they should put together a special samller engine package for Daytona and Talladega to eliminate the need for the restrictor plates.

At the end of the race, Carl Edwards tried to block Brad Keselowski, ended up literally airborne and in the fence. Fortunately, Edwards is fine, the fence held keeping the car out of the grandstands, though 7 fans were injured. Many years ago, in the late 60's, I saw a modified stock car get launched into the crowd at Shangrila Speedway in Owego, NY. Modifieds are open wheel stock cars. One car was passing another on the outside of turn four, the wheels got tangled up, and one car got launched over the fence into the seats. I was in the infield. Four or five people were killed. Quite a trajedy.

Not sure what NASCAR will do, if anything, but the restrictor plate racing needs to be modified in some way.

Good to see Dale Jr. finish 2nd but he is one of the best restricto plate racers of all time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NASCAR Awards Banquet Moving To Vegas

I fully understand why NASCAR held their annual banquet in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria since 1981. They wanted the media and advertising exposure only New York can offer. But, I've always thought it must have been funny to see the crews running through the hallways of the Waldorf with their coolers of Bud, Miller Lite, and God knows what else in the middle of the night. And all those guys stuffed into those monkey suit tuxedos--loosen up a bit! Now they are moving to Vegas, a good move for NASCAR and fans. Great time of the year for Vegas--early December is a bit slow there. A lot of fans will head out there for the week--not many go to New York. I can see the Top 10 drivers and cars going down the Strip, hopefully at midnight, all painted in those glowing, night-time paint jobs like ther are for night races. And those huge parking lots in Vegas are made for 700 horsepower NASCAR hot rods to zoom around them. Will be a fan favorite--book your rooms now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mark Martin Wins in Phoenix

What a great win for 50 year old Mark Martin, one of the best, and most popular drivers in NASCAR history. For those of you who don't know of Mark Martin, or anything about him, he won 35 races with Roush racing, raced part-time over the past several years with DEI (Earnhardt Racing), and is now full-time with Hendrick racing in their famous #5 car. Rick Hendrick's first team and number in NASCAR was 5, and Geoff Bodine won the first race in that car for Hendrick. Rick Hendrick wanted to put a real racer, someone with a chance to win not just one, but many races in the 5 car, and it appears he has him with Mark Martin.

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