Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Beginnings for My Favorite Driver

It has finally become official. From sources at JR Motorsports, and Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have a new number to go with his new team and new sponsor for the 2008 season. What does this really mean to those loyal followers that make up Jr. Nation? It means Teresa Earnhardt is a bitch and we should be glad when Dale Jr. walks from the shop at DEI to the shop at Hendrick following the Miami race weekend.

I know that on this blog I’ve been silent on this issue. I’ve though several times about posting my opinion, but I really wanted to wait till all the dust had settled before finalizing my comments. I waited when Jr. announced his intentions to leave DEI
(considering I woke up just to watch this should say something). I waited when it was announced he would become teammates to Gordon and Johnson (if you know me, you know I’m not a fan of either). I waited when they said Budweiser would not be the sponsor of choice, although now I feel I can drink other beer without feeling as bad. As I read this news on tonight at work I couldn’t wait any longer.

My opinions varied greatly over the last several months of this saga. I, like many, was hopeful that Teresa would do the right thing by her stepson and NASCAR fans alike. Do what her husband had planned from day one when he formed that company, give it to his kids. In April the first ball dropped as Dale announced negotiations had broken down and he would be the sports world’s hottest free agent. I wasn’t disappointed in Jr’s decision. I’m a fan. Like a fan of any team or player I want to see them win championships. I was thrilled after years of hard work when David Robinson and the Spurs won their first NBA Championship. I long for that day when I can buy that Dale Jr. Championship car, banner, and hat.

I was disappointed to know that I had been let down by DEI. I got tired of people asking Jr if they though his dad would be proud of his decision. If his dad was here to answer that question, we wouldn’t have been asking it. Dale Sr. knew what it took to win championships. He won seven of them himself. I think he knew what to do. Point being none of what has happened this year would happen if Sr. was still here. I believe I would already have that Jr. Championship on my wall if Sr. was still here. But those in charge of DEI now seem to lack the knowledge that the company’s founder had. They failed to supply the equipment and keep up with changes to offer the team the best chance to win.

Then on a June night while surfing the internet and again waking up special to see another important press conference from Concord, NC. I was elated to know my driver was going to a winning team. Almost sick to know he was going to be teammate with two drivers that to be honest I have despised over the years. Even though Hendrick has fallen off its overwhelming dominance of the season, you can not argue that they are still the gold standard for multi-car team success. No other multi-car team has seen each of their drivers win at least one race this season.

Since then minor questions have steadily been answered. Dale Jr. will not have the King of Beers on his hood next year. And the latest has been the deal with Ralph Earnhardt’s number 8 no longer being associated with his grandson.
I have come to this conclusion through it all. This is the best thing that could happen for Dale Earnhardt Jr, and his excessively large fan base. Here is why. Performance is the first key. I’m not saying that Hendrick never has engine failures, or parts that simply fail. But three times in the last four races we’ve seen the 8 team suffer from poor equipment. I know that Tony Eury Jr. and Dale a like have been diplomatic in criticizing team officials, especially after another engine failure at Watkins Glen, but lets be honest here. With broken power steering at Chicago and engines unable to take the full weekend at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen you have to wonder what is happening there. Here is a major difference. When these things happen at DEI they look into back at the shop and nothing appears to come from it; Hendrick’s team makes sure that it never happens again.

I think the other part comes down to family. I don’t know either Dale Jr. or Teresa personally. I wasn’t there or witness to their family life. But, I believe that it came down to this: Teresa still treats Dale Jr, like he’s 12, not 32. We are talking about a man who has taken great responsibility on himself, partly because it was thrust upon him, and has handled himself with character that few have. Rick Hendrick, among many other people, has recognized this fact, something that Teresa has failed to do. If she had, we’d be talking about how Dale Jr, with help from key industry leaders would be changing DEI for the better heading into 2008.

So what is going to happen? Here is my prediction. Rick Hendrick is making Jr’s new now. He is not waiting till this seasons ends. He is putting the pieces in place for that team to come out of the box successful next season. They will make the Chase easily. In the next five years we will see at least one Sprint Championship on Earnhardt’s mantle. He will sign a contract extension to continue to drive for HMS. What about DEI? They will not completely fall apart. However they will fall behind several other top teams. Gibbs, Hendrick, Richard Childress and Roush Fenway continue to lead the sport as the elite teams. Behind them we find Evernham, Penske, and Ganassi. These are teams that can compete but do not step in the winner’s circle very often. I think DEI takes it’s place between them and teams like Robert Yates, Fall of Fame and the Wood Brothers. They consistently make races, but again don’t post many checkered flags on the shop wall. They will need to step up the program, and bring in a key driver to help that team succeed. I don’t see that happening before 2009.

Here is to buying all new crap at Daytona in February. Yes I will see the 50th Daytona 500 live in person.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Budweiser Shootout

Sunday February 4th I, like many other people, watched the Super Bowl. I, like many others, pined for football to return again in August. Unlike many people though the end of the Super Bowl does not mean that I have no reason to tune into television. To me the end of the Super Bowl only marks the agonizing two weeks till the Daytona 500.

In 1979 Anhuseir – Busch started what was then call the Busch Clash. It was designed for drivers who had won a pole the previous year. They decided to hold this 20-lap event a week before the Daytona 500. Over the years the race has changed a bit. Most notably it is now held at night under the lights and is now called the Budweiser Shootout.

I’ve watched many of these races over the last couple of years and have seen some spectacular races and surprising finishes. I have to admit thought that this past running of the shootout was a little boring and except for the final thousand yards pretty unspectacular.

That being said the first 20-lap segment I think had more action per lap than the last 50 laps did. I know that this is actually a product of placing the restrictor plates on the engines, but this is what we’ll probably see for the two Daytona races this year and the first Taladega race. I have purposefully left the fall race at Taladega from this list because of the COT.

We saw some aggressive racing and several lead changes during the first segment. Notably Kevin Harvick, sporting new sponsor Shell / Pennzoil this year, won the first segment. Not that he earned anything for finished the first segment first but it was just nice to see. The big issue was would anyone have the mileage to make the last 50 laps on a single tank of fuel.

The next 49 and 2/3 laps were pretty mundane. Again, as often happens when you put a restrictor plate on the engine, there is always action on the last lap. Not that there wasn’t some points of interest to note in the last couple of laps. Jeff Gordon would have to wait another year to win another Shootout title as his car lost power in the early part of the second segment.

I never knew what the sound of 21 calculators hitting pavement sounded like until a debris caution fell on lap 34. All the fuel mileage calculations went right out the window as everyone came down pit road for fuel. The real gamble came down to how many tired would a team decide to put on. Kyle Bush led the parade onto pit road and off with a two tire stop. This was directly related to Tony Stewart on four fresh Goodyears. Stewart was able to loosen up Kyle Bush’s car to take the lead on lap 42.

That is how the Budweiser Shootout pretty much ended. While there were some close calls as cars got loose coming out of the tri-oval or one of the corners, and some people tired to make a run only to see the leader get farther away from them, the race pretty much was a 180 mile an hour follow the leader. Of course that was until we finally saw someone get loose and not save the car.

As they came off turn four headed for the start finish line Dale Jr. came behind Elliot Sadler. This caused Sadler to become loose bounced off the wall and collect a total of four cars and send them spinning into the infield and across the start finish line.

"It's self-explanatory if you watch the tape," Junior said. "I got into the back of Elliott trying to bump draft and he wasn't up on the straightaway yet. I got into him too early and wrecked him and wrecked both racecars. I'm sorry about that "We were back there, trying to do what we could do and I was trying to help a friend of mine and just got over-zealous and overdid it."

Stewart showed us why he is one of the favorites to win this years Great American Race. When asked if he learned anything for the 500 he said of course he did.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

That is Right....

... I'm a SLACKER!! Best part about it is I admit it. Actually I'm not as big a slacker as I let on. The truth of the matter is I make no money doing this, I do make money at my job and since about the time I really slacked in writing is when I got promoted you can understand why the writing stopped.

Unfortunately like many of you my job sucks. Don't get me wrong here when I say this. I work in a hotel. I like the hotel business because sometimes I actually like people. My job sucks for many reasons, one being that I have college educated adults, and some who are much older than I am, who are on the same maturity level as my friends 3 year old son and act about that age. There are other reasons but I won't get into that here.

I do not know how much I will be able to write over the off season. It may actually be more than during times this season. I will attempt to keep up with this better and I will keep you up to date with my opinions on NASCAR happenings.

With the close of the 2007 season just hours away I did want to reflect on some happenings and take a look back on this season.

~Jimmie Johnson... excuse me I didn't mean to vomit on the keyboard. Unless he manages to do what I've been hoping for every race this year he will win the championship. In case you want to know what I hope happens it includes a blown tire, the outside wall, the inside wall, Jeff Gordon's car, and loading the car on the trailer before lap 50. Does he deserve it? I guess. He did win several races this year and has been probablly the most consistent program over the last three years, but it doesn't mean I have to like it any more than I like a root canal. I probable wouldn't mind him winning the championship this year so much if I didn't have to hear about it from the announcers every 15 minutes of a race. Lets be honest NBC has more commercials than they do race coverage so that means when they are showing cars on the track I have to endure their incessant chatter about Jimmie Johnson or something that doesn't matter while Wally and Matt take personal digs at each other. Lets remember there are 43 drivers in each race. Lets hear about them sometimes.

~NBC will not be bringing us race coverage next year, sort of. The will be with us through the agony of TBS for 6 races next year. Which they are already advertising for more than Fox is for the Daytona 500. All I have to say about this is Thank God. NBC has managed to bring us better football games on Sunday night than ESPN is at the moment. But this is because basically they inherited Monday Night Football. John Madden and Al Michaels were gold on Monday Night, they just do the same things on Sunday night now. As I mentioned before NBC has more commercial time than they do actual racing. Last week at Phoenix they showed 8 laps, commercials over the next 6, 8 more laps, then commercials for 7. I don't know what a restart looks like anymore because NBC will bring us back to racing as the leaders are headed into turn one. As a plea to FOX and ESPN/ABC please remember that viewers watch to see races not to see commercials with a little bit of racing, remember to have enough cameras to cover the track so we can actually see the beginning of an accident not have you show us halfway through the wreck, and remind me what a restart looks like.

~Toyota. Please stop saying thanks for having us. I didn't make that choice. If it was up to me you wouldn't even be in the truck series. I don't want to see you there and lets be honest you know you like the fact that Dale Jarrett will have a chance to be in every race. I hope that all the other teams get together to improve to limit how many Camarys are in the field each week.

~Earnhardt and Gordon. A year ago everyone accepted the shock that the sports biggest names were not in the Chase. Kudos to both teams for making the Chase. This doesn't mean I like Gordon. I still think at times the announcers and media in general lift him higher than he really deserved. I am a Bud brew crew fan and I'm more than pleased at the result this season. I watched the team accomplish things this year that in the past would have gotten them down and out. Jr. and his crew are given little credit in my opinion at times. He is not NASCAR's golden boy, he is a hard worker and great competitor he will be a champion and soon.

I'm gonna go watch the races this weekend. Kick back with a Budweiser. Toast the season. And sustain myself with football till February.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Race Weekend in Charlotte

On Memorial Day weekend of 2005, after being a fan of NASCAR for around ten years, I went to my first race weekend. I say weekend because you don’t go to a race like you do a football game. This year I got to enjoy my second race weekend at Charlotte.

Friday May 26

Upon getting up we made our trek over to Concord Mills Mall. I know shopping on race weekend at a mall. This is a huge mall though. As we walked around we stumbled across the Holiday Inn show car. Now if you know me I work at a Holiday Inn so it was kind of cool to see it there in the mall. We got to talk to the people that travel with the car, and take some pictures. A quick lunch and it was to the souvenir trailers parked outside the track. Dinner followed and then traffic to get to the World Premiere of CARS. Read the post on the premiere.

Saturday May 27

It was not an early morning but it was a short trip to what has become our favorite parking place near the track. After setting up our canopy tent we relaxed some before buying at the trailers. We grilled shish kabob for lunch. After more relaxing, we packed up our coolers and headed to the track. We watched NEXTEL Cup practice, and then enjoyed the Carquest Auto Parts 300 Busch Series race.

The race itself was pretty good. It is very different seeing a race live. Number one there aren’t any commercials and I’m sure during the long green flag run Fox probably showed a lot of commercials. It did make the race go by rather quickly after seeing Jamie McMurray and Tony Stewart hit the wall early. It did get exciting toward the end though. Casey Mears made his fuel last longer than anybody expected, but when the green flag waved the final time, Mears' car struggled to get up to speed. Edwards slipped by and pulled away. It did make for Edwards first Busch win of the season.

Sunday May 28

This was an early morning. Why do you ask? Because in order to get a good spot you have to be there early. It was a good thing too. We did get another good spot. After setting up again, we cooked breakfast. You read that right breakfast. Some lounging around and lunch was not that far off. Soon after that we packed up the coolers again. It was hot and our main goal today was to get up to an area in the shade close to our seats. We then took time to visit the vendors set up outside the track. This is where you get all the free promotional items.
The green flag dropped and we were going racing. I didn’t even hear a Boogity either. Kasey Kahne stopped Jimmie Johnson's streak of wins by taking the lead with 29 laps to go, then pulling out to such a huge lead that Johnson never had a chance to catch him. This was greeted by an outpouring of appreciation from the fans. Last year after Johnson won the stands emptied. It was actually pretty amazing how over 150,000 fans can leave a track so quickly, this year however people at least stayed to see Kasey do his burn out and get his car to Victory Lane. Tempers flared late in the race when Casey Mears lost control of his Dodge, bounced off the wall and into Kyle Busch while the two were running second and fourth. Mears suffered slight damage, but Busch's night was ruined. As NASCAR officials tried to coax Busch back toward the garage, he angrily tried to break free so he could get at Mears as he passed by. He only managed a feeble, left-handed toss of a safety device that failed to hit Mears.
It was not a good night for Tony Stewart. He would wreck early after spinning in turn two. Gingerly getting out of the car he was taken to the hospital where they discovered a break in his shoulder blade. The best part of the evening was Jeff Gordon’s late race wreck as he got loose in turn 3, spun and managed to drag his car across the front stretch. He blamed it on the Goodyear tire but it was a break problem on his car that really caused the spin and wreck. My other favorite part of the evening was the gentleman sitting in front of me who is obviously a Junior fan and managed to watch him the entire race. I know this because every time Jr. would pass someone I would hear him clap. It was a great update system.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stars and CARS a Night at the Movies

I don’t usually get to go to these kinds of events. Not like the many concerts my friend’s brother Jeremy gets to go to. By the way I recommend visiting his blog at He is one of the most talented writers I know. So, when I read that they were holding the World Premiere of the new Disney Pixar movie “Cars” at the Lowes (Charlotte, NC) Motor Speedway and were going to sell tickets to the general public I was excited.

You did read World Premiere right? That’s right I’ve seen a movie that isn’t even in theaters yet. Yes, I am aware that there were about 20,000 other people there who saw it as well. However, It’s not like you get to go to a world premiere of anything every weekend.

I have to say that this was a lot of fun and I would recommend the movie. It is after all a Pixar movie. You know the people who gave us movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo. This movie pretty much falls in line with that group. Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Paul Newman, and Bonnie Hunt lend their voices to our lead characters. The graphics in this movie are outstanding as always for Pixar and has a story, content, and humor we can all enjoy at any age. And, that is all I’m going to tell you about the movie itself. Go see it.

For the premiere Disney pulled out all the stops. As only you would expect Disney to do. Despite the slight delay for rain (read downpour). They did a Hollywood style red carpet outside of turn two. Inside the track were erected four huge movie screens. They also had four smaller screens and a stage in the middle. They used the smaller screens to show the red carpet and what took place on stage later.

As only you can do at a premiere that takes place at a racetrack we had a race. If there is one thing you can stop a bunch of people interested in cars doing, racing them when you have an open track is not one of them. The fat guy keeping his shirt on is another one but that will take some work too. The Richard Petty Driving School provided the twelve cars for a short 12-lap race. Darrell Waltrip, who of all things voiced a race-announcing car in the movie, driving the “Cars” car won the race. The other drivers were instructors for the school. Do you think that was a setup? Conspiracy theories abound.

After the “race”, Larry the Cable Guy took the stage as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Being a comedian he did a few jokes, introduced several of the stars and did the check presentation as a large portion of ticket sales went to Speedway Children’s Charities and the Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. Both by the way are great charities that help thousands of children. Many of them are underprivileged or are afflicted by disease or birth defects. Each charity helps many of these kids be kids if only for a little while.

When all the feel good stuff was done and over with, and a performance by country music artist Brad Paisley who is part of the soundtrack for the movie, it was time for the feature presentation. Again, I will not ruin this movie for you. Be it said that it is a good movie no matter how old you are. My problem is I either have to see it in the theater again or wait till around Christmas time for it on DVD. That is a tough call. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lady in Black Lucky for Some

Greg Biffle managed to put together three key things that Saturday night: lead the most laps, finish the race, and win the race. Biffle has managed to complete the leading the most laps part of the equation on three separate occasions already this year. Not only that he has finished on the lead lap including last week at Richmond pulling down a till then season best 4th place. Saturday at the “track to tough to tame” he won, although not with out a little chase at the end by Jeff Gordon. Not only that Biffle did it without a subway sandwich handing from the front of the car.

Gordon did make it known that he was trying to nail down his first win of the season too with his second place run. He would come up only two car lengths short and very frustrated with a few of his fellow competitors.

Kenseth, after leading several times during the race would finish third. "I think he's a very solid bet to make it," said Matt, Biffle's teammate at Roush Racing. "He'd have to have a lot of things happen for him not to be a contender." Point leaded Johnson would finish 4th to extend his lead. Dale Jr., fighting flu like symptoms all weekend long would follow up his Richmond win with a fifth place finish asking his crew at one point to find a replacement driver if he needed one.

Darlington would prove tough on some including defending champion Tony Stewart. After a lap 150 spin he would not be able to make his car competitive the remainder of the night finishing 12th. Many others would earn either their first or another in a long line of stripes at the famed egg shaped oval.

Once again Darlington would prove to be one of NASCAR’s premier tracks staging a great race with a spectacular finish. Do I really need to cover this again? I’ve said before that what was the Southern 500 at Darlington, NASCAR’s oldest track, on Labor Day was as important as Daytona to begin the season, the Coca Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte and the Brickyard.

Here is my idea maybe someone should come along with the NASCAR Classic Series. Races would be run at deserted tracks and tracks that have been reduced on the schedule. Darlington, Rockingham, North Wilkesboro, and Trenton would be a few of these tracks where past champions made a mark, and were crowned.

Again I hate to beat a dead horse, or at least beat on his broken leg. Sorry little jab at the Kentucky Derby winner. I didn’t even know that took place by the way till he broke his leg at the Preakness. And if you don’t know that is the second part of the Triple Crown in horse racing.

There is one question that begs to be asked at this point. Since Dale Jarrett has now signed on to drive for that foreign carmaker next season, will they change the radio and TV ads when the person writes to DW with a question? You know the one where they ask who is going to drive for Toyota and he says they have Michael Waltrip, and then an engine roars while he "lists" other drivers. Untill now they really didn't have any other drivers. I wonder if you watch closelly and read his lips if he actually gives us a Toyota driver wishlist? Maybe I should submit that and get on one of those dear Darryl commercials.

A final note. This writer is going to the Coca~Cola 600 again this year. Hope this new pavement is worth it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Virginia is for Lovers, Not Points Leaders

Dale Earnhardt Jr. however loves Richmond. After puling to the point at lap 44 he wouldn’t look back on his way to his 3rd win at the track and 17th overall in his career. It shows either a major departure from the problems of last year or a huge turn around from last year, your choice.

Harvick was the dominant car all night long taking the lead early and not letting go for much of the race. It was a mid race non pit stop that hurt his chances for winning, not that he had a bad race as he finished 3rd and moved up another spot in the points chase. He lead for a career high 272 laps, almost one third of the race.

Earnhardt did make the pit stop for four fresh tires and fuel to go the distance. Even as a few late race cautions flew Earnhardt would not give up the lead for his first win this season. "I think we are there,'' he said. "We keep taking our shots, but we're pretty competitive. Everything is working really great. I couldn't ask for any position on this team to be any better.” His perfect doughnuts engulfing the red number 8 in white smoke caped the evening. And, for the first time he blew a tire after the race and not during it.

The points leaders did not fair as well. It started with a loose plug wire on Kasey Kahne’s Charger only part way into the race. He pulled into the garage and went 5 laps down to fix the problem. Even after getting one lap back he would finish 34th. Matt Kenseth did not fair much better. He broke a brake rotor that bounced into his oil tank cause it to leak. He would bring his Ford home to a 39th place finish. This would be only one spot better than Jeff Gordon, who’s team could not figure out what happened to his engine.

Denny Hamlin would get a career best second place; Greg Biffle scored a season best 4th, after struggling much of the year. Kyle Busch would round out the top five. Point leader Jimmie Johnson would struggle after an early race caution to finish 12th.

Keeping Up

Ok, I’m what you call a slacker. The great part about that statement is that I admit to it. I’ve missed posting for three races and four weeks worth of news. Not that there has really been a lot to report on. Are we really surprised that teams that are struggling are changing up personnel?

~A Texas One Step~

Texas Speedway gets to keep the claim of never having a repeat winner. And Kasey Kahne gets to claim the right of being the only pole winner to win a race there. That was the boring part of this race. Obviously the biggest thing to hit Texas was Greg Biffle’s car into the turn 3 wall. Evidenced by the ten-minute red flag to repair the safer barrier. While this is nothing new for Kurt Busch and anyone he has ever turned into the wall, it was something new for his fiancée’. After being turned into the wall Biffle’s girlfriend Nicole Lunders went to chat with Eva Bryan, Busch’s significant other. This is nothing really new to racing, this is just the first time we’ve seen it on television. Wonder what Lunders plans to get for the future Ms Busch for her wedding present? Boxing gloves?

~Doing the Double in the Desert~

Ok really nothing too exciting about Friday’s Busch Series race. To sum it up, Harvick wins his second Busch race after strumming a tune in Nashville. Which, by the way, next to the Grandfather clock at Martinsville the Gibson Guitar is probably one of the coolest trophies you can win.

The real action came Saturday night when the cup boys took the track and put on a great show. Kyle Bush continues to follow his brother’s example and is well on his way to giving NASCAR the first set of brothers to boo. I wasn’t really around when all the Allison family was running in the series, but I don’t think they were this loathed by a consensus of fans. Kyle got into Mears and is somehow upset that Mears held his line instead of running into the wall. I wonder if those personality makeover people can help Kyle.

As a side note, as part of his community service they should have made it so that before every NASCAR broadcast they show Kurt Busch throwing the first pitch at the Diamondbacks game. This was just sad. I mean not even Rick Ankiel was that bad.

~Fast Doesn’t Always Win~

The last three restrictor plate races have defiantly not gone to the best car or cars on the track. This does tend to happen from time to time. You either need a lot of skill or a lot of luck to win these types of races. Some how the last few have fallen to the later of these two things. Dale Jarrett’s win last October was not a dominating performance, neither was Johnson’s win at Daytona and to be certain not this win at Talladega. I will give Johnson credit for not causing as many wrecks in recent plate races as he has in the past. In this race a year ago he cause two and never took responsibility for either one despite putting half the field in the garage between the two incidents. As you can tell I’m not a Johnson fan. And no I’m not apologizing for it.

I will say that it was awesome seeing that black paint scheme from days gone by on the track once again. It was a fitting tribute for all that went on that weekend for Dale Earnhardt. If you feel the need to somehow contribute to the cause of the struggling writer who’s work you are reading to buy the die cast of this car please feel free to contact him and he will let you know how you can donate to the cause.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Taking the Short Way Around

Martinsville Virginia is a quiet little town with not much going on. I know some people there and they tell me that there are boring places and then there is Martinsville. But, twice a year Martinsville becomes a very busy and congested little town, much like the half-mile track there. Congestion on the track is about as bad as off the track going home. Like Bristol this usually means tempers flare, but it seems they were able to keep that in check which means the racing took the leading roll.

No matter your opinion of Dale Earnhardt Jr. you cannot deny his run at Martinsville was nothing less than impressive. We are talking about a guy who had his fender removed on the second lap and came all the way from 42nd to 4th before being knocked in the wall and still was able to come back up to finish 4th. This is not something he and that team could have done last year. Better yet he had fun doing it. “This was a fun race, man,” Earnhardt said. "We kept on coming back. We knew we were putting on a good show.” If he can continue this and have as much fun doing it as he says he did he should easily make the Chase and should contend for the title.

Did I not say that despite what Gordon claimed he was going to be doing that things would not change and Gordon would still be Gordon? Well here is what the new aggressive Jeff Gordon had to say after blowing a tire on lap 90. “When my tire blew, that instantly sent a message to me that I need to be a little less aggressive,” Gordon said. “It was pretty much my fault. I was racing with Kasey Kahne at the time, and he had a good car. I recognized I was over-driving the car. Then we got tight and boom, it blew.” See I told you so. Gordon did not win all those races and 4 championships by being stupid. He didn’t do it by being aggressive when not called for. He is a smart racer and knows how to take care of his equipment.

Bad deals came for some of the rest of the top 5 in points. Kahne lost a cylinder and had an underpowered car the rest of the race. Matt Kenseth was spun out with 9 laps left to run. I hate to say it but that is short track racing. Remember Martinsville is a half mile congested paper clip. Mark Martin just had a hard time overcoming early problems. All of their bad luck lead to Jimmie Johnson reclaiming the point lead with his 3rd place run.

Next week we hit the Lone Star State. In 10 races we have 10 different winners. I’m going with a first time repeat winner. I would be wrong but I think any of those 10 could pull into victory lane again this weekend.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

That's Just Bristol

The bump and run is just Bristol. Is it right? Is it wrong? I think that depends on whom you are pulling for. Are you hoping the bumper or the bumpee is going to win? Did I like Kurt Busch winning? I’ll keep that to myself, but so many great drivers used the bump and run to win races at Bristol including Dale Earnhardt Sr., Rusty Wallace, and Jeff Gordon. It does take a little bit of talent and luck to pull this off, because we have seen the bump and run backfire on drivers before. I will say committing the bump and run on the last lap is very different that doing it with more than 25 to go. But, right or wrong its just Bristol, learn to love it.

Lets here it for good racing. I didn’t get to see this entire race because it seems like my boss likes to schedule me for Sundays. Thank you again Speed Channel for replaying races. I thought the racing was good and exciting but Bristol always has been. But it’s also been great for it’s post race action. Remember Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick a few years ago? The more things change, the more they stay the same though.

I had a realization after reading the articles from the race on Monday and Tuesday and that conclusion is this. Jeff Gordon is a pussy and a moron. I know some people think it’s smart that he left his helmet on if he’s going to be in any type of fight. You have to protect that Madison Ave face for all those watch commercials. Doesn’t Jeff also have his own cologne? But, to come out and say I’m tired of being reserved and someone I’m not. Please, if that’s true try that bad boy attitude and see how many people like you. Yes you’ll get those people who like that, but Jeff Gordon is still Jeff Gordon. He’s always been the same and will continue to be the same. You can be “more aggressive” on the track but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a good drive that knows to take care of your equipment and on short tracks like Martinsville and Bristol it means having some patience. Gordon knows that, if he does become an “aggressive” driver and misses the Chase again maybe being someone else helped him win those 4 championships.

Martinsville and the short tracks will be on tap this weekend. Stay tuned for more tempers to flare and more excitement, even if it isn’t that fast.

Also sorry for not keeping up the last couple weeks. It’s been busy, sorry to my one fan that reads this. I promise I’ll do better.