Coke Zero 400 and a little extra

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend.  Like Tony, I too was under the weather. 

I want to touch on a couple of things before getting into Saturday night’s race.  Congratulations to the #20 Nationwide team for winning another race.  This time it was Denny driving the #20.That makes what 9 wins this season for that team with Tony leading with 5 wins for the #20.  

Looks like the #5 will be occupied for the next two years by none other than Mark Martin.  Mark Martin announced this past weekend that he will run a full time schedule in 2009 for HMS.  I guess Mark wants to give it one more shot at winning a championship before he makes his exit out of NASCAR.  Well, he has a pretty good shot over at HMS.  But as with any championship run it will be a challenge, but if anyone is up to the challenge Mark Martin is.  Postman was very excited about the prospect of his favorite driver making a run for the championship next year.  I think it is kind of funny that he will be doing it in an HMS car.  He is not a big fan of the #88 and don’t even get him talking about the #24.  He told me the other day #48 is growing on him (and I have to admit it too, #48 doesn’t rub me the wrong way as in year’s past).  But either way he will be rooting on Mark. 

Now on to the festivities…in case you didn’t know with the numerous annoncements throught the broadcast and with commercials…if a Coke Racing Family driver won the Coke Zero 400 everyone would get a free 20 oz Coke Zero.

I have to say I enjoyed the race for the most part.  Nothing out of the ordinary really upset me other than the fact that Tony had to come out of the car.  I have to give major props to J.J. Yeley for bringing home the #20 in pretty good shape.  In fact he was in the Top 10 late in the race, but several cautions prevented J.J. from giving the boys a decent finish.  The #20 finished 20th and Tony dropped 3 spots to 12th in the point standings.  I know drivers hate to come out of their cars and hand it over to another driver, but at some point you have to decide what is best for your team as well as the other competitors and that is what Tony was feeling on Saturday. 

From the get go, I thought this was going to be an HMS dominated race and for the most part it was.  But with everything that is Daytona, only one of the 4 drivers finished in the top 10.  Dale Jr. who lead the most laps finished 8th.  While Jeff, Jimmie, and Casey finished 23rd, 30th, and 34th repsectively.  I would have found it somewhat funny if Jeff had gone on to win the race.  I mean, here we have THE Pepsi driver winning the Coke Zero 400.  I wonder if the Coke Executives were having heart attacks when they saw the #24 that close to victory.  Do you think they sent a case of Coke Zero to Carl?  And what was up with Jimmie in the pits?  Every time he exited his pit stall he swung wide. There were times he was moving cars close to or on the grass.  I believe one of the broadcasters mentioned about the pit selection causing some of the issues.  If that is the case, Chad needs to make note of it.  Next time choose a different pit.

As always with Daytona racing gets pretty hairy within the last 25 or so laps and Saturday was no exception.  As well all have been told cautions breed cautions.  Starting with lap 131, when the 6th caution flew, we had caution 7 (lap 136), caution 8 (lap 140), caution 9 (lap 149) and caution 10 (lap 157) what seemed like back to back cautions.  Just when the cars would get up to speed and moving, another caution would come out.  Caution 10 of course caused the race to move into overtime.  Jeff Gordon brought the field to the green and the next thing you know, there goes Jeff heading for the infield.  No yellow was thrown until Michael Waltrip, Sam Hornish, Dave Blaney, Travis Kvapil, J.J. Yeley and a host of others decided to come together. 

Have viewing footage, it was determined that Kyle Busch was ahead of Carl Edwards when the caution flew.  Congratulations to Kyle for winning his first race at Daytona and his 6th win of the season.  Was it me or did I hear fewer boos and more cheers from the fans?   There were still quite a few of boos, but now there were more cheers than weeks past.

Way to go David Reutiman…what was it 5 Lucky Dogs?  You finished a respectable 21st and on the lead lap.

Elliott Sadler is off the market.  Apparently Elliott is now engaged and is planning on a wedding some time next year I believe I heard them say.  Congratulations Elliott.

One last thing…testing policy changes…not sure how I feel about this one.  If NASCAR is going to change their policies regarding testing they need to make it fair for all teams.  I don’t know if just opening up Pandora’s box will fix things.  Because once you open it up, it will be a little difficult to close it.  We will just have to wait and see.

Funny thing happened on the way to work….sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.  I was heading down to the ladies room at work this morning and noticed there was something not quite right with my shoe.  I thought maybe there was soemthing on it and that is why it felt weird.  If only that were it…but no it wasn’t.  I looked down and saw the problem.  I WAS WEARING TWO DIFFERENT SHOES!  Yep…that’s right I have on a brown sandel on my right foot and a black sandel on my left foot.  It wouldn’t be so bad because I have a pair of brown sandels that look like the black one I am wearing, but I put on the nice pretty one that has a decorative strap.  It’s ok to point and ridicule and even roll your hinies off laughing…because if you can’t laugh about life, then why bother living.

Park milestone…I reached the 20,000 vistor mark sometime this weekend!  Thanks to all of my regulars and lurkers.  Here’s to another 20,000.

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