Before I can even begin to put my thoughts down, I have to send all my thoughts and prayers to the city of Boston as well as to the families directly affected by the bombings on Monday afternoon. We stand with you through as you try to heal from this horrific event. If history has shown, Boston will rise and become stronger! God Bless You!
Disclaimer…First and foremost, I will not make this blog about politics. This is NOT the purpose of this blog. With that being said, if you read this post, and want to comment, you are more than welcome to do so. I welcome discussion on this site, however I will not engage in a negative conversation just because you don’t agree with what I have to say. Please be aware these are MY opinions and MY opinions alone. I stand by them.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to post about the Texas weekend. There were so many stories coming into the weekend, during the weekend, and out of the weekend. With all the stories I had several things I could have written about.
Kyle Busch was on fire this past weekend at Texas. He swept the weekend winning the Nationwide race on Friday night and then winning from the pole on Saturday night. I know there are a majority of you out there who do not like Kyle Busch. I am not the biggest fan and I have called into question some of his behavior over the years. All I know is this man can drive the wheels of a car. All throughout the race, he was up front leading laps. Oh and by the way, he lead the most laps that night. I know there are those who think Jimmie is the one to watch seven races into the season. But you have to look at Kyle to challenge Jimmie throughout the season.
Now…with the part of the post I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write. I have been kind of holding off on the post. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke or some just bad luck, but…I am beginning to wonder what the heck is going on the #14 team this season. I don’t know if they are snake bit or what, but this is NOT the kind of season I expected so far from Tony. Tony has been known to start a little slow and get hot through the summer, but this is getting hard to watch each week. I am beginning to think there is more going on with the #14 team. Have they missed the mark on figuring out this new car? During the race on Sunday, I was listening to Tony’s scanner and he said, “I don’t care how many times we have come down pit road, fix this thing this time.” Clearly the #14 has missed the mark. The highest spot Tony has finished so far this year is 8th and that was a Phoenix. He hasn’t had a top-ten since, let alone a top-5 or a win. He is 111 points back from points leader Jimmie Johnson and in 22nd place in the standings. If this continues, Tony will NOT be in The Chase. I am hoping the #14 team has a come to Jesus meeting this week at the competition meeting. It’s been difficult for this Tony Stewart week after week waiting for the team to get the set up right. This past weekend I saw him struggle at a track he likes. I was at the race in 2006 when he won his first race at Texas. But yet on Sunday, he struggled. He finished 21st. I am hoping they get something together this week for Kansas. I know there is still some racing until the 26th race at Richmond, but if things don’t change, this Tony fan will be watching her driver outside The Chase.
Penalties were handed down to Brad Keselowski and Joey Lagono. The #2 and #22 teams had to remove the rear housing from their cars on Sunday morning. Here is what NASCAR said about why the teams were penalized. According to NASCAR’s statement, the infraction by the Penske teams violated the rule which states suspension systems and components must be approved by the governing body. Teams were changing things and getting through inspection right up until race time. In fact, Joey was still not in his car when the command was given for drivers to start their engines. He was sent to the back of the pack because he was late. However, Joey sort of got the last laugh and finished 5th while Brad finished 9th. NASCAR handed down the following penalties to the #2 & #22 teams.
- Joey and Brad were docked 25 driver points as well as 25 owner points
- Brad and Joey’s crew chiefs, Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon respectively, are suspended for 6 races as well as the All-Star race. They have also been fined $100,000.
- Team engineers for both teams as well as team manager, Travis Geisler were also suspended for 6 races.
Penske will appeal the decision which means all crew chiefs and members will be with the teams this weekend and other races until the appeals have been heard.
Keeping with the Penske teams, Brad K. went on a tirade on Saturday. He was angry for the way NASCAR confiscated the rear housing on the #2 & #22 prior to Saturday night’s race. He was also critical of the way NASCAR delayed his team in the inspection process at Martinsville as well as the penalty he received for pitting outside the pit box. Brad was not fined for his critical comments about the NASCAR governing body. You can make your own decision on whether Brad should have been penalized in light of the fine Denny Hamlin received for his criticism of the Gen-6 car.
Now…before I comment on the following, please reread the disclaimer. I am not going to get into a political battle with anyone. This is NOT what The Park is about. There has been much made about the NRA sponsorship of this Cup race this past weekend. I have had discussions with friends and family about this since the announcement that the NRA was going to sponsor this race in Texas. I will say, I did not have an issue with the NRA sponsoring a race. Whether you like the NRA or not, this wasn’t about TMS trying to be political in any sense of the word. This was about sponsorship and bringing dollars into the sport of NASCAR. Eddie Gossage, even said he would not have the gun celebration in Victory Lane if teams, sponsors, etc did not want that type of celebration. To be honest, I was glad he did not have to alter the celebration in Victory Lane. It is one of the things that makes TMS, TMS. I am sympathetic to the Newtown tragedy as well as others where guns were used to kill innocent people. I believe in the 2nd amendment. I believe we should have the right to own guns. Owning a gun is a great responsibility. I am a gun owner. I have two shotguns, one belonged to my grandfather and the other belonged to my father. I do not have shells for both guns because (1) they haven’t been fired in quite some time and need cleaning and (2) I have small children in the house. I am not ready to have the ammunition in the house with my small children. Once I choose to have the ammo in the house, I will sit down, just like my father, and explain what it is to be a responsible gun owner. I grew up knowing that guns could kill. I knew that if I ever messed with my father’s shotgun I was in serious trouble. Every single time he cleaned his gun, he sat with me and explain the dangers of a gun and also how to be a responsible gun owner. When I would go hunting with him, he taught me how to carry the gun as well as how to behave while hunting. That’s just it. You have to be a responsible gun owner. Lock your guns up if you do not want your children playing with them. If you truly don’t want your guns to be handled by your children, DO NOT HAVE THEM IN THE HOUSE! That’s it. I could go on about other issues regarding the gun law battle, but that is for another day and time.
I have to give mad props to one Mr. Eddie Gossage. This man knows how to market his product. He also knows how to put on a show for the fans who make the pilgrimage every year to Texas Motor Speedway. The racing isn’t always the best on TMS, but this man is a showman! I love his current marketing of TMS by calling the racing at TMS the Wild Asphalt Circus. I have been able to attend 3 race weekends at TMS. I got the chance to attend the first fall race at TMS back in 2005. It was my first experience attending a NASCAR race. Despite the fact I had no clue what I was doing or what to expect, I had a great time. Unfortunately I haven’t been back since the fall race in 2006. Most of this has to do with the cost of attending a race weekend. There are great ticket packages and I have people in the DFW area where I am sure I could crash for a weekend, but right now we just can’t afford to attend a race. I am hoping to attend the Truck race/IRL weekend this year. It is a little cheaper on the pocketbook. Besides one of my Facebook friends is encouraging me to see the Indy race there this June. I will see what I can do. Last year I had the great opportunity to meet Eddie Gossage last year when the Kyle Petty Charity ride came through Lubbock. You could tell he was tired from riding all day, but he took the time to meet fans and take pictures. If you ever get to meet the man, do so. Thank you Eddie Gossage for all you do for the sport of NASCAR!