Ho Hum…the All-Star weekend is over.
Up first was the burnout competition. All competitors definitely had fun with the competition especially Jimmie Johnson. Congratulations to Greg Biffle for winning the inaugural Pennzoil Burnout competition.
Next up was the Showdown. I felt this was going to be an exciting race. You have all those drivers fighting for two positions. I really was hoping Elliot Sadler would race his way into the All-Star race, but it was meant to be. AJ Allmendinger clipped him and he want sailing into the wall. Even if he did get the vote from the fans there was no way his car was going to be able to race. I have to give props to Sam Hornish. This is a driver who chose to leave the Indy league for the green pastures of NASCAR. If he was still running his Indy car he would be preparing for the Indy 500, but instead he was giving it his all to get into the All-Star. He drove the wheels of his car. He along with AJ Allmendinger advanced to All-Star race. Of course there was only one more driver that still had to be announced for the All-Star race. This driver was voted into the All-Star race by the fans. This driver was Kasey Kahne.
The All-Star race had a little different look to it this year. The race was broken down into four 25 lap segments with a 10 minute break at the end of the second segment and no invert (yea!). You could feel the excitement in the air. From the drop of the green flag, Kyle Busch took off and left the rest of the field behind him. It looked like Kyle was going to be the one to beat, but as well know what with NASCAR what we think is going to happen doesn’t necessarily happen. Kyle Busch took the boys to the start of the second segment and once again looked like he was going to leave them all behind. But unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Kyle Busch’s engine had other plans. After the second segment, Carl Edwards was ahead and Kyle Busch’s engine was KAPUT and his night was over.
The third segment was uneventful, but at the end of the third segment the boys were required to hit pit road. But it was up to the teams what they wanted to do on pit road. They could take two tires, four tires, or just stop and go. Kenny Francis made a gutsy call last night and chose to take no tires and gas only so Kasey would have track position. From the results of the previous segments whoever was out front ran good and that’s probably what Kenny was thinking. If Kasey won this would be considered the best call of the night, if he lost well, it wasn’t going to be a good call. Kasey took the lead on lap 84 after Denny Hamlin’s engine gave way. Hamlin was the second JGR car of the night to have an engine go KAPUT. Kasey fought off a determined Greg Biffle, however Greg didn’t have enough for Kasey. Kasey became the first driver to win who was voted into the race by the fans. This was a great night for the NASCAR fans. Way to go Kasey!
I have to give major props to Sam Hornish. He drove his way into the All-Star race by finishing 2nd in the Showdown earlier in the night. He was hauling the nail with his #77 car. I thought he was going to have a long night after getting into the wall, but he plowed on. He was down two laps at one point in the night, but with getting back on the lead lap Sam Hornish finished 7th. Well done Mr. Hornish..well done.
The race was pretty uneventful compared to other All-Star races. There were no cautions except for the ones thrown at the end of each segment.
Smoke had a rough weekend. He was forced to start at the back of the pack after engine issues prior to the race. Who knew he would be the lone JGR driver to finish the race last night. He finished 5th. With all three JGR engines having problems over the weekend, it makes me wonder if they were trying out some new engine package or were there serious problems. I hope they were just experimenting and not planning to use that engine package for next week’s Coca Cola 600 race. Because if this is the case, JGR is going to be in for a long night.
It was bittersweet night for Dale Jarrett. The All-Star race was the last race we would see Dale behind the wheel of a race car, however we won’t miss him for very long. He will be following in his father’s footsteps again by stepping into the broadcast booth. Thanks for the memories Dale! You are one class act.
Not to be overshadowed by the All-Star weekend, even though it probably was, Matt Crafton was his first Craftsman Truck Series race. I have mentioned before that I really like watching the truck races. They are shorter than the Nationwide and Cup races so it can sometimes make for some interesting racing. I feel anything can happen on any turn of the race and Friday night was different. Congratulations Mr. Crafton!
Today is Bump Day for the Indy 500 and I will probably be watching to get my race fix for Sunday. I can’t wait until next Sunday. I mean there’s the Indy 500 in the morning and the Coca Cola 600 in the evening. What more could this race fan ask for?