Coming out of Turn 4…
Sorry for the delay in posting about Bristol, but I intended to post, but lots of things going on in the Park and I wanted to get a better sense of the COT before posting about it.
I was hoping for some exciting racing at Bristol. Bristol is one of the races I look forward to watching every year. We are talking 1/2 mile race track, 43 cars, and most of all 43 egos all vying for the win. I was not surprised that Jeff Gordon was sitting on the pole for the race. I mean he likes Bristol. But this race was different in years past. The Car of Tomorrow made its much anticipated and much talked about debut at Bristol. I have to be honest, I wanted to give the COT a chance. Change isn’t easy for some people and that includes myself, but I was willing to give the COT the benefit of the doubt. To be honest I don’t like the look of the car. I think it looks like my neighbor’s jacked up Dodge Neon. I don’t like the splitter and I definitely don’t like the wing. This is what happens when two things merge and produce. You get a mutated version of something. I know those in power want to make better racing and I am sure that will happen with the COT. And if that happens–wonderful! I am all for that. I was glad the announcers were trying to explain all the nuances of the COT, but they too are still learning along with us. I will probably, eventually get used to the COT because that is the future of the sport. But just let me vent for a bit…it makes me feel better.
Now onto the race…
Tony looked good during most of the race in the Flying Brick. He can pretty much drive anything if you give him the keys. But just when I thought Tony was going to take Bristol…BANG…the racing Gods struck. I guess it isn’t nice to mess with the racing Gods. The #20 suffered fuel pump issues. Once that happened Tony’s day was pretty much a wash. Denny looked good and I was hoping Denny would win, but alas…that Little Shrub from HMS won. What little respect he earned from me after the California Busch race all but washed away. I know Tony has voiced his opinion about the car, but he has toned it down a bit (if you can tell Tony to tone down anything). You may not like the car, but come on dude…you are in Victory Lane! You just won the first race with the COT. It must not suck that bad.
After everything settled…Vickers received 2nd degree burns from the COT and inhaled some carbon monoxide due to faulty exhaust pipes. Then Greg Biffle car was found to be low according to the NASCAR specs, however he was not penalized due to the COT. I have my own theory on this one, but hey…I like a good conspiracy.
The second race of the year with the COT and another short track race. I don’t know why I am not excited about this race. I guess I am sad because I will not be at the Texas spring race—withdrawal symptoms. I did watch the race. I was hoping Tony would dominate and see him climbed the fence at Martinsville as he did at the last race. But as we all know Jeff Gordon loves Martinsville. He has 6 wins at the place and wanted number 7. He has the most of any active driver. As typical of Mr. Gordon, he got up front and dominated for several laps. But he wasn’t the only driver that dominated the track yesterday at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin looked good on the track. I really wanted Denny to win. After last week’s performance at Bristol, I believe he has the COT under control. It looks like JGR has the COT understood. Denny, Tony, and JJ all qualified in the top 10. The Three Amigos finished–3rd (Denny), 7th (Tony), and 23rd (JJ). Dale Jr. looked good on the track as well.
Since yesterday was April 1, I was hoping I would wake up this morning and realize yesterday’s race was all an April Fool’s joke, but it wasn’t. Jimmie took the lead with his fellow teammate Jeff G. behind him. As someone who used to follow Mr. Gordon, I wondered if he would do his famous “bump and run” to take the victory. The only man standing in his way from his 7th victory at Martinsville was Jimmie Johnson. Gordon raced his fellow teammate clean. That late caution closed the gap between somewhat. It was only a matter of time before Gordon caught up to Jimmie’s back bumper. If Gordon got to the bumper and the win was in sight, Gordon would “move” the car out of the way. But this wasn’t just another driver this was a teammate–a good friend. Heck, Gordon introduced Jimmie to his wife Shandra. Jeff likes to win. Jeff got to the back bumper of Johnson and Johnson was leaving him no choice, but to get moved. Jeff to to the bumper and moved him, but Johnson went nowhere. Jeff almost had him coming out of Turn 4 on the last lap, but Jimmie beat him to the line. Once again Jeff was denied another victory. With Johnson’s win, that makes three in a row for HMS.
Here’s my take…we all know if that had been any other driver on the track, we would be talking about Jeff Gordon’s 7th win at Martinsville. I must say Jeff did look a little miffed when the Fox pit reporter was interviewing him. He was a little “upset” that Jimmie had blocked him. Hey, Jeff all is fair in racing.
As for the COT…still have lots of work to be done. I give a grade of “C”. I wasn’t all that impressed or disappointed. The boys get back to the other cars in two weeks at Texas. I will not be able to see the boys in person during the spring race. I will be at home in front of the old TV. Even though I have a pretty decent tv, it is not comforting to know that I won’t be there hangin’ out with my other NASCAR fanatics. But I am saving up and I am hoping to make the November race. The crews will have Easter weekend off and won’t have to step back into the COT until Phoenix (April 21).
I have to congratulate the Ohio State Buckeyes for making the championship game in the NCAA. It is kind of cool they will be playing the Florida Gators for the national championship tonight. Hopefully, the basketball team won’t do the same thing the football team did. As always, Postman will be rooting against the Bucks. What can I say…he is a Michigan fan. And even if he did like the team I liked, he would root for the other team just to irritate me. He better watch it is all I have to say…that Pittsburgh yellow towel sitting at the sporting goods store in the mall would make a nice birthday gift for you. GO BUCKEYES!
Have a good one!