Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back to the Beach

Well, NASCAR heads back to the beach this weekend. The Coke 400 is this Saturday night. Last year's Coke 400 was very action filled right up to the end.

Where we saw Kyle Busch go to block Tony Stewart on the final lap on to be put into the wall. What will we see this time? Who knows, but one thing is for certain it will be entertaining.

Between all of the rivalries that have sprung in the last few weeks, this weekend proves the perfect opportunity to take out a rival driver and have people blame it on "that is what you get with the restrictor plates". The only thing the punting drive has to make sure is that he does it in the pack without taking out anyone else. Or else he will have bigger fish to deal with on the next lap.

So will Jeff Gordon find himself greeting the inside wall? Will Denny Hamlin finally get his from Kyle Busch? Will Kevin Harvick take young Joey Logano out to the beach for a good thrashing? Or will teammates duke it out on the track?

The season has already seen some pretty good rivalries. But not too many have had the opportunity for payback. But then again, new rivalries might be made and the old ones put aside.

Either way it is great to be back at the Beach!!!

As Darrell Waltrip is famous for saying, "Let's Go Racing, Boys!"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Course Weekend

It is time for the first road course of the season. All I can say is YAHOOOOOOO!!!!

I love the road courses. I know most people don't but I do. To me it is one of the few weekends that I really look forward too in racing.

This weekend, guys like Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya and a hand full of others will be at the front. The one guy that will be in the top 12 but he usually is not out front is Jimmie Johnson. For two weekends a year, we don't have to hear how great he is at the track. And that in itself is worth watching the road courses.

I just wish NASCAR would put more of them in the schedule.

Oh, well, that is the way it goes. So everyone enjoy the race this weekend. Because I know that I will, because, if history repeats itself, it will come down to two drivers, Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart. And that is wonderful.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pocono Not Quiet What You Expected

The Pocono race proved to be a race of unexpected moments. Moments that gave a team a shot in the arm, when they needed it. A moment of excitement that usually comes at restrictor plate racing. A moment in which a boy showed that he is a now a man. And a moment in which a boy showed just how much growing up he still has to do.

Most of the race at Pocono was a long boring green flag drive around a triangle. There were moments in which there was great racing around the triangle, but less face it, no one really enjoys watcing 500 miles of racing at Pocono. The races are just too long, for the 2 1/2 mile track.

Watching a race at Pocono is kind of like watching rain fall from the sky hitting a wet pavement. You know what the rain will do when it falls out of the sky, that the pavement will only get more wet, nothing very impressive about that.

We had the usual few leader changes with the green pit stops. When the only two early cautions came out Kyle Busch took the lead.

For awhile it looked like Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin was going to stink up the show, by running off and hiding. Each time they got the lead they would pull away from the field and put several seconds on the rest of the field.

You had the usual pitstop speed violations. Nothing unsual about that. So really until the race laps started to wind down, the race was turning into the usual Pocono race.

Even started shaping up to look like it was going to be a fuel mileage race. Tony Stewart was doing his best to conserve gas, by turning the engine on and off, and coasting into the turners. It was starting to look like that maybe the 14 team might actually have a chance of winning another gas mileage race.

But then there was a late caution, that brought in part of the field, the back part of the field for tires and gas. Those at the front of the pack stayed out, even though they knew that most of them would be about 2-3 laps short of the end of the race.

Then a few laps later after going green there was another caution. This caution was caused by Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick getting together. Causing Joey to go for a spin, that would make one think he was at Eldora slinging dirt. Joey almost saved it, but wound up hitting. This caution brought in most of those at the front for gas, and some took tires.

Then as the leader Denny Hamlin was coming to take the white flag, the big one happened. Kasey Kahne dove down low to go around AJ Allmendinger, who blocked Kahne all the way to the grass. In which Kahne spun his tires, went shooting back up in front of the field, hit the outside wall, causing a 12 car pileup. Taking out drivers like Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon. Ryan Newman was involved but he was able to limp across the finish line.

Denny Hamlin finished the race in first, his teammate, Kyle Busch finished second and their former teammate, Tony Stewart finished third. Giving his team a much needed boost. Not going to say that this is the shot that this team needed to give them a win next week, but it certainly was a shot that will at least give them something to smile about this week at the shop. They took a car that was at best going to finish in the top 12 and came home with a third place finish, on fuel strategy.

Now who was at fault with the AJ and Kasey wreck? Well, a case could be made that either one of them was at fault. One could say that AJ should not have blocked, but then again, every driver does it to protect a spot. One could say that Kasey should have backed off when AJ put the block on him.

The truth is neither one and both were at fault. Both should have did a better job of give and take. But then again they were in the "heat of the battle" and men know only one way when they are doing battle, Take no prisoners and get all that you can.

Now on to the incident with Harvick and Logano. If it had not been for the history of these two, this would have simply been written as a racing incident. But because these two have had run ins together in the Nationwide Series and previous Cup races, this was looked at as something more. But the truth is this really was just one of those racing incidents. Two drivers going for the same spot at the same time. One ends up in the wall, while the other one goes on to finish.

What made this so much worse was what happened when Logano parked his car on pitroad next to Harvick's car. Logano got out of his car, intent on talking to Harvick about what had happened. But the crews of both drivers got in between the drivers and would not allow Logano to approach the points leader.

Even Logano's dad, tried to intervene, but Logano would not have any part of it. He was determined to talk to Harvick. But fortunately the 20 crew was able to get Logano away from the public view and get him back to the hauler.

Brought back the remembrance of another driver who use to drive the 20 car. One thing is for certain, the 20 team is no stranger to having to step in between their driver and another one. 10 years with Stewart gave them plenty of experience.

I was so proud of Joey for standing up for himself. I thought to myself, you go Joey. You stand up for yourself.

Joey had to stand up for himself. Even if it was just a racing incident, Joey had to let Harvick and the other drivers know that he will not be pushed around anymore. So yesterday, Logano gained alot of respect not only from this race fan, but from the other drivers.

Now while I am very proud that Logano stood up for himself, I was so very disappointed, when he made the incident personal with Harvick. One thing Logano needs to learn, you never bring a man's wife or his family into your fight with him. If you really want to stir up a man's emotions, you make a fight between you and him personal by bringing his wife or family into it. Now Harvick did not have the opportunity to respond to Logano's smart remark about Harvick's wife, but you can bet that when he does have a response, it will not be a pleasant one for Logano.

Logano, needs to go and call Harvick and apologize for this remark. Because if there is one thing you don't do, is attack a man's wife or family in the media.

So while Logano in one incident proved that he was a man, in the very next moment he proved just how much growing up he still needs to do.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What is wrong with Jimmie Johnson?

Well, well, well, how things have changed since the spoiler came back. The wing seems to have been the thing that gave Jimmie Johnson his magic to winning four championships.

He won three races with the wing this year, but since the introduction of the spoiler has not won once.

So what is going? Did the lucky horseshoe finally fall from Johnson's behind? Or is there something more going?

Well, I got the feeling that there is something else going. It is very uncharacteristic for Johnson to be having this much trouble. Maybe the lucky meter has finally tipped over for this team. But I seriously doubt that is the problem.

I think the problem with Johnson lies within his personal life. Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra are getting closer to the birth of their first child. Within the next five weeks the arrival of baby Johnson will happen. And let's face it, if you are expecting your first child, there is alot of unknowns.

Now since I have never had that experience personally, I am not going to sit here and say this and that is what they are experiencing. I can only talk about what I have seen from the experience of others.

There seems to be alot of nervous moments, and alot of stress trying to get things ready for the arrival of the child. Not even taking into consideration the nervous and anxious moments of the parents-to-be personally experience.

So I got the feeling that once baby Johnson is here, Johnson will be back to his winning ways. (Aaauuuggghhhh) I just think that right now, the reality is sitting in with Johnson that he is fixing to be a first time father and he is getting a bit nervous. And it is showing in his racing. Drivers say they don't think about anything else but the car when they are in there.

But let's face it, they are human and there has got to be moments in which life creeps into their minds in that car, even if it is only for a split second. And that is all that it takes to go from being first to being the new ornament for a wrecker.

So let's enjoy the fact that Johnson is not winning everything, because once the baby is here, unless the baby is "blessed" with colic, Johnson will be back in the winners circle.

Just kidding about the baby being blessed with colic. I would never wish that on any parent. I work with kids, and colic babies are the worse for the nerves of a parent or anyone taking care of them.