Sunday, October 26, 2008

Edwards Wins, I Still Hate Jimmie Johnson

I thought Atlanta was pretty decent today, not the best but it was entertaining. I enjoyed seeing the drivers work the wheel the whole race thanks to an abrasive track and Goodyear tires. I liked the Darlington comparisons because that's was racing is at its best... I prefer that to guys being able to stay out on 100-lap tires and pull away from the field. Edwards slung the #99 around all day, not handling the best but doing enough to stay up front and then make a move when it mattered. Good runs today from Kenseth and Hamlin. (Psst... be honest, you were hoping he would take Jimmie out on the last lap when he got loose in turn 3. It's ok, I was too)

I'm refusing to call Johnson the champ in waiting, something could still happen. Edwards will more than likely win at Texas and we'll see where we stand next week.

Get Mikey Waltrip Off The Damn Track

This is getting ridiculous. How many cautions does he need to bring out today before enough is enough???

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How Long Until Clint Bowyer Takes A Hostage?

I can see it now, reporters have flocked to Welcome, NC to watch a hostage negotiation. Police yell at Clint Bowyer through a megaphone, telling him it'll be OK - just come on out. Really, you'll be fine.

If I'm Bowyer, I'm not so sure. He has to be close to snapping by now, after making the Chase for the 2nd year in a row he gets rewarded by:

- Being moved to the brand-new #33 team
- Having the #07 team and Gil Martin taken from him
- Potentially needing to qualify on speed the first 5 races of 2009
- Working with a new crew chief whose previous Cup experience was with Brendan Gaughan

Seriously, RCR is moving heaven and earth to make sure Casey Mears is dropped into the best situation possible. He gets a Chase-caliber team, a top 12 points position, and lets face it, a way cooler sponsor and in return Bowyer gets to work with brand-new everything, or a Nationwide team moving to Cup.

Where's the negotiator?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bob Margolis Annoys Me

I honestly don't know why I read his columns, other than for the same reasons I watch the Boston Red Sox (go back to Bahston, losers!) or Bill O'Reilly (not a real conservative, but I have another blog for those sorts of things).... his latest Observations column from Martinsville. I was at the race, and feel the need to correct some of his "observations" from the race (my thoughts in bold):

- Watching Elliott ride around the rear of the field for most of the race in the woeful Wood Brothers entry was an embarrassment to both Elliott and the sport in general. Due to attrition and his veteran's instincts, Elliott still managed a top-20 finish.

Actually, Bill was pretty competitive most of the day. I want to say he got the lucky dog early, but he stayed close and passed cars. Sure, Bill isn't what he was even a few years ago, but come on - Wood Brothers equipment can only do so much, and the so much has been very little at almost every track.

-I'm convinced that the only reason AJ Allmendinger did so well in the GEM Dodge – he wound up 15th – is that when he learned how to drive a stock car at Red Bull, it was a really bad stock car and that's all he knows. Not to take anything away from Allmendinger, but Patrick Carpentier (hey, remember him?) did a pretty darn good job in a car that was far less than competitive.

Umm, what? I'm a fan of both drivers, but this paragraph makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Allmendinger's simply further along in his progression and ran better than Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne yesterday in his first race with a team at a track exceptionally tough on inexperienced drivers.

- Kudos to rookie Chad McCumbee (finished 25th) for one heck of a job in the Petty Dodge. Let's hope that the reported Boston Ventures/Petty-DEI deal comes together (I hear it's likely) and that this kid gets to drive a Cup car next season.

I'm sorry, but McCumbee was a backmarker. I think he mistook the finishes of Bill and McCumbee, because Bill is the one that was surprisingly solid and McCumbee rode around the back and waited for everyone else to crash out. I honestly don't know if Chad has Cup-level talent. We'll find out next season.

I guess that finishes up my rant. I read it and had to respond, maybe someone will see it. The race yesterday marked the end of 3 races in 9 days for your esteemed blogger. Here's a view from my seats in turn 2 yesterday to finish up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Johnny Benson Outduels Ron Hornaday For Martinsville Win

Ron Hornaday dominated most of the day, but it was 4 tires, a better truck at the end, and little extra fuel that allowed Johnny Benson to move around Hornaday in the waning laps of the Kroger 200.

For those that can remember, Benson's always been known as a guy that was maybe too nice on the track. Today, it was refreshing to see him waring out Hornaday's truck, it shows how much he wants to win this championship this season.

As for the rest of the finishers, they're about who you would expect. Dennis Setzer capitalized on both KHI trucks running out of gas to finish 2nd, while Rick Crawford, Kyle Busch, and Todd Bodine rounded out the top 5.

Benson now leads Hornaday by 65 points with 4 races to go, with Matt Crafton and Bodine way behind. The BDR-KHI rivalry continues, this time with Benson in the running instead of Mike Skinner last season.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Your Car Worth? Amoco Ultimate Wants To Know

As race fans, we love our street cars too. Living in North Carolina, I see some great ones. I see decals and paint schemes on cars around here, and it's great. If I won the lottery, I'd buy a street-legal race car to drive around. So, I want to know this - is your car the worth of Amoco Ultimate gasoline?

You know I don't just do every contest that comes along, but I like this one, and here it is: go to The Amoco Ultimate Photo Contest website and follow the rules: send a picture of your car and some words, and you could win a trip to the 24 Hours of LeMans, only the greatest sports car race in the world.

Secondly, I want to know which NASCAR blogger has the baddest car around. The winner will receive a $25 gas card from BP. To enter, either leave a comment here or email me if you like ( with your car, blog site, and why your car is the baddest around. I'll crown the winner on October 30th.

Good luck, and thanks to M80 marketing for the promotion.

Nationwide COT Leaves Me Cautiously Optimistic

For years now, the Nationwide Series (dating back to the Busch days) has been in need of a new identity. The new car looks to possibly, finally accomplish that goal. The car unfortunately incorporates many aspects of the COT, but with a few key differences - one being the splitter looks different, and it maintains the rear spoiler instead of a wing. That will play a big difference in the handling of the cars. The Dodge car actually looked sweet, shame it won't be around to see the track. Other models considered are the Chevy Malibu, Ford Taurus (wtf didn't they just get replaced??) and Toyota announced theirs would be a Camry.

Most importantly, I think, is that the Sprint Cup guys got to deal with the headaches of the new car, running 2 different cars at the same time, and dealing with such a change. It should be expected to be a smoother process the second time around. A transition to the new car should start in 2010 without the unnecessary step of running different cars every week of the season.

My problems are still here: one, I want NASCAR to step up to the plate and aid the teams financially with the switch to these cars, especially the smaller teams. That would earn a lot of respect on my part. Two, the schedule needs to include more stand-alone events away from Sprint Cup in order to really be a 2nd series. I could see a reduction in Truck Series races and in return this series should take over some of those races.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Danny O'Quinn Has A Ride, At Least This Week

Kudos to the Rensi team for putting Danny O'Quinn in the #35 this week at Lowes Motor Speedway.

I found out that O'Quinn has been spotting for Jon Wood in the Truck Series, as this story indicates. He also made 1 Nationwide start this season, finishing 24th at Richmond last month. He can still wheel a car, he beat John Andretti for ROTY in this series despite missing 2 races, I'm dumbfounded as to why he can't get anything lined up. But, I'm still a fan, and I'm still hoping.

Show Danny some love on his website.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Regan Smith Wins AMP Energy 500* (Cough Cough)

Regan Smith won yesterday, right?

I mean, he crossed the line first, right?

On the last lap anything goes, right?

So why did NASCAR rob him of a win? Because they're a bunch of meanies?

It wasn't politics, Bob Margolis.

So what was it?

It was NASCAR clumsily doing the right thing.

I'm not one to defend NASCAR on everything they do, but this was the right call. Jayski ran up and posted a quote from one of the puppets in regards to the Truck Race back in 2007. The puppets named were wrong. If you're going to have the rule that there's no passing below the yellow line, it makes no sense to not have it apply to every lap of the race. If you want them to pass below the line, then lift the ban. Maybe we'll see Jeff Gordon do this again at Daytona.

Point is, the right call was made yesterday. Smoke defended his spot, Smith could have made a move to the high side (which is where most passes for the lead were made yesterday) or rode behind him content to get a career finish. He didn't, and he suffered the consequences. As it stands, Stewart finally snaps his winless streak, Paul Menard gets a career-best Cup finish as he moves to Yates, and David Ragan nets another top 5 finish at 'Dega.

Other points from the race:

Remember what happened at Dover when Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth battled for the lead and I threatened to jump off the roof of my apartment complex if they all wrecked? Well, needless to say I hit the bottle after yesterday's crash. Carl hit Greg in the absolute worst spot he could, on the quarterpanel in the middle of the turn. I saw it happen in slow motion. That sucked. Jimmie Johnson leads the points, but I don't think the Chase is over by any means. This race will be important coming up at Lowes.

Denny Hamlin was kept overnight in the hospital following his hard crash, and he may have a concussion as a result. Could we see Joey Logano in the #11 this week?

That's all for now. The next 2 races are in my backyard. I'm going to be broke in 2 weeks.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Talladega ARCA Races Never Disappoint

Today's race was more proof. The crashes, the lead changes, the overall uncertainty makes this one of the highlights of the season. Today was no exception, with the addition of a thrilling championship battle between Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse. Stenhouse loses a tire, hits the wall, goes to the garage... followed by Speed doing the same thing! Soon it was a battle between the two teams to fix the cars and send them back on to the track. In the mean time, Joey Logano rode in the second spot until the leader spun in front of him, thanks once again to tires. Logano would then lose the lead, regain it, only to have Justin Allagier outduel him for the victory. Young Allgaier looks stout right now and he could mount a surprise challenge for the title, mathematically he hasn't been eliminated. As it stands, next week's finale at Toledo will be fun to watch.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pre-Talladega Linkage

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Gratuitous links, courtesy of someone too busy to write a real post today:

- A must-read on the legend of Talladega, it's old but for the old school fans of the sport it's always good to see someone that remembers the curse.

- Paul Menard takes his sideburns and dad's $$$ to Yates Racing for next season. The slide of DEI continues and Yates needs the cash. A win-win, in my eyes.

- Story about the struggles of open-wheel drivers in NASCAR this season. You mean those same ones ESPN called "The best rookie class in NASCAR history" back in February? Yeah, about that...

- Updating yesterday's story about Rusty's possible comeback, he shoots it down. I'm not convinced, not yet anyway.

- Nice little story about the process of UPS moving their dollars to David Ragan and Roush Fenway for 2009.

- Joey Logano will pull double duty in the ARCA Series as well as the Truck Series, where he'll drive the #59 that Ted Musgrave threw a hissy over and quit back at Vegas. Thankfully, he has been pulled out of the shitbox that is the DLP car.

- JTG Daugherty racing has formed an alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing for next season. This sounds more like the pretty new girlfriend moving into the guy's house after a tough divorce. Will they get married? We'll see, we'll see.

- The entry lists for the weekend. Bram delivers the pure stats.

Who's getting up at 7 AM to see the unveiling of Jeffy's new car?

Not me.