I can honestly say I was excited about yesterday’s race. To me, Indy is the holy land for racing. I was on pins and needles at the prospect of tony winning and putting that #14 back in victory lane, but we don’t alway get what we wish for.
The day started out with Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya on the front row. What a way to start a race! Mark Martin, who I think has stole the show this year in NASCAR (excluding Tony) and Juan Pablo who would have a chance to win both a 500 and a 400. It looked like most of the day this would be the case for JPM. He had a 5 second lead on Mark at one point and it looked like no other driver was going to touch him. Until JPM hit pit road late in the race and got nabbed for speeding not in one zone, but two zones. JPM was angry and he even said so over his radio. I can understand his frustration, but you made a mistake. He finished 11th. Not the finish I am sure JPM wanted, but still keeps him in the Top 12. It’s hard to keep your eye on the big picture sometimes, but I think now that he has had some distance away from the race he can reflect on his effort.
This whole speeding on pit road issue was the topic of conversation on Sirius this morning. All those conspiracy theorists were calling in talking about how NASCAR rigs the races, etc. There are times I wonder because things after in the strangest ways, but come on now. Drivers are even given 5 miles over the posted pit road speed limit. JPM was nabbed not in one spot, but two. I could also understand if more than one driver was nabbed for speeding. It wasn’t like that truck race a few months ago where it seemed everyone was getting nabbed. NASCAR doesn’t have some state trooper down with his trusty radar gun hiding behind some tree. No it’s done electronically. Besides, I believe it was Junior in a post race intereview commenting on the fact that he was hoping NASCAR would have thrown a few more cautions. Now that statement boggled my mind more than the whole speeding incident.
Speaking of Junior, it doesn’t look like he will end up in the Chase this year. He finished 36th after starting 4th. He currently sits in 21st spot in the standings, 367 points back of 12th place, Matt Kenseth. There are only 6 races left until the Chase begins. If he is going to have a shot at even getting to #12, he is going to have to light it up in the next 6 races as well as have those ahead of him have bad races. To be honest I don’t see that happening…he would have to jump over Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, David Reutiman, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Marcus Ambrose, Jamie McMuray, Joey Lagano. I am sorry, but yesterday pretty much put the nail in the coffin.
Congratulations to Jimmie on winning his second Brickyard in a row. I have never been a big Jimmie fan and I have stated that here in The Park, but Jimmie and Chad always find a way to get themselves in position to win a race. It’s not just here and there…it’s every week the #48 team is a threat. I guess that’s why he has won the Championship three times in a row and is making waves for that 4th one. Of course, this doesn’t mean I am going to run out and stock up on Jimmie stuff. I am just saying as a NASCAR fan I have to respect the talent and tenacity of a team to come with both barrels loaded every week.
I have to say that was a nice piece ESPN did with Tony and AJ Foyt. How many of us get to meet our idol and let alone become friends with that idol. Thank you ESPN. On that note, you can always tell when ESPN takes over coverage of a sporting event. With the littlest stories, there is this dramatic buildup, the story and the dramatic ending. Some times their stories even make you cry. It does make you wonder sometimes if there are trying to see how many people they can fit in a broadcast booth. Remember the first year…OMG! That was too much for me to take in before, during , and after. I still think some of it could be scaled down, but one thing I am glad they did…keep Rusty out of the broadcast booth. I don’t mind the pre race stuff, race break commentary, or even the post race stuff, but calling the race not his forte. I do like Ray Evernham. He has the unique insight that keeps me engaged.
It’s going to be an interesting over the next few races to see who gets in…who doesn’t. Either way…I am looking forward to the racing.