Michigan

I didn’t watch much of the race yesterday.  I have to get the homestead ready for our caseworker’s walk through on Tuesday.  She is prepping us for our certification/licensing review that is upon us.  This is something as foster/legal risk to adopt parents have to go through.  I did have the race on in two rooms–our bedroom and the livng room.  I would occassionally look up from time to time in between moving things from our bedroom to the office as well as tryign to get a 5-year to clean his room.  Let’s just say, I think hearding cats would have been much easier for me yesterday. 

In this whole cleaning process, I had to crate up my Tony Stewart shrine and move it to the office.  I know…I should be allowed to have some kind of mourning period today, but I will perseveer thorough the trauma.  Look at it this way, it will allow me to make room for all the NEW Tony Stewart items I will be purchasing in the near future.

Congratulations to Carl Edwards for not only his win yesterday, but for the weekend sweep at Michigan.  He really did have the car to beat yesterday.  I don’t know if Kyle could have caught him.  He definitely had a car that could have, but catchign Carl and passing Carl were two different things entirely.  Kyle Busch finished 2nd and clinched the number one seed for The Chase yesterday however.  In fact the top 5 in the standings didn’t change positions from the previous week.  It looks like those five are solidly in the Chase, but with NASCAR things aren’t settled until that checkered flag flies.  There were a few in 6-12 position that took big hits yesterday–Jeff Gordon (from 6th to 9th), Kasey Kahne (from 8th to 11th) and Denny Hamlin (from 9th to 12th).  Clint Bowyer is still out of the top 12 sitting tied for 13th with David Ragan.  I have to say I am impressed wtih David Ragan.  He is giving everything he has to get into the Top 12.  Yesterday increased his chances to getting that 12th spot.  He finisheed 3rd.  Both he and Clint are only 26 points out of the 12th and final spot.  For those on teams on the bubble now is the time to step it up and just race balls to wall.  There are only 3 races left until the Chase.   

I know Tony still has won a race this year and I am handling as best as I can about not seeing the #20 Home Depot in Victory Lane. If Tony is going to make a push for his 3rd championship he is going to have to get across the finish line in first place.  That’s just the way it is this year.  With the way both Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards have been running this year, you are going to have put together a string of wins to beat these guys.  That’s the bottom line…

Now…I was a little stunned when I heard of the cheating incidents over at JGR with the #18 and #20 in the Nationwide Series.  Of all teams in the garage, JGR and cheating just doesn’t like something they do.  It was discovered that shims (1/4 inch magnet) were placed under the gas-pedal stop. What does this mean? In essence, shims were used to keep the gas pedal from being fully depressed, thus limiting the engines’ output thus affecting the results when going through the dyno. Penalties will probably be assessed on Tuesday.

The Bermuda Triangle

Thank goodness…no more races at the Bermuda Triangle..oops Pocono. 

I am not a fan of this track.  It’s too long of a race and it’s just a weird racetrack.  And for some reason there is always a threat of bad weather.  But after last week’s race, I was looking forward to some racing.  Sunday’s looked very familiar (Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin were on the front row again for the second week in a row) and I thought for a moment perhaps I had had a nightmare and we were all watching the Indy race.  But alas the boys were definitely at Pocono.  Unfortunately Saturday’s practice sessions were rained out. 

Even though NASCAR was going to throw a compeotion yellow at lap 20, the first caution happened rather qucikly.  The boys didn’t even get a chance to finish a complete lap befor Joe Nemecek spins Kevin Harvick.  This put Harvick deep in the pack and he was going to have to fight his way to the front.  As with Pocono, when you have your “oops” moment will depend if you can recover for a decent finish.  Shortly after Kevin went spinning, Kurt Busch decided to try it for himself on Lap 7.   By the way, Kevin finished 4th, but Kurt wasn’t able to recover and finished 38th.

Weather tends to play havoc at Pocono.  Just ask Ryan Newman last year during the spring shortened race.  And this time rain did force soem fo the teams to show their cards.  SEveral teams decided to come in and get tires and gas while others chose to gamble with the impending weather and gambled.  Those who gambled included the spring’s winer Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin.  Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart chose to come down pit road to get gas and tires.  The race is red flagged on Lap 131 due to rain showers.  After a 41 minute rain delay the boys were back on the track with Kasey Kahne leading the way.  There was still a threat of rain in the area, however it never played a factor after the rain delay.

I have to say it was interesting to see who was going to try and play the gas mileage game.  Who was going to blink?  Unfortunately both Kasey and Mark decided to go in for gas because they were not going to make it on fuel.  Once this happened Carl Edwards inherited the lead.  And he too was playing the mileage game, his crew chief was telling him to conserve fuel.   Unfortunately, the points leader ran out of gas and was unable to refire once he hit pit road.  He finished 36th.  Of course this is better than the finish in the spring where he finished dead last.  Yikes!

Congrats to Carl for his 4th victory this season.

Tony Stewart had a decent day.  He came away with a 2nd place finish after starting 20th.  Kudos also go to David Ragan with his 5th place finish.  Some other surprises…Jamie McMurray (9th), Travis Kvapil (16th), Chad McCumbee (17th), and Tony Raines (18th), and how about Bill Elliott finishing in the top 20 with a 20th place finish.

Now the boys are headed to the final road race of the year at Watkins Glen.  I am crossing all my fingers and toes this week hoping for a victory for Tony Stewart.  If you told me at the beginning of the year that Tony would not have win by Watkins Glen I would have called you crazy, but it’s true.  The same would be said for Jeff Gordon.  It’s not for lacking of trying on the part of the two drivers, it’s just one of those things in racing. 

One more thing…in case you missed it NASCAR made history on Saturday.  The boys in the Nationwide Series raced in the rain up in Montreal.  It was interesting to watch them drive in the rain with the rain tires and windshield wipers.  I am still a little bit confused about why some didn’t install the wipers.  I know when I am behind someone in traffic during a rain storm, I get their back splash.  But I guess there was enough visabilitiy for them.  Unfortunately the race was eventually called due to the rain.  Congrats to Ron Fellows!

Flippin’ and Jayhawks

As mentioned earlier I have been trying to get over this crud I have.  I think I am on the way to recovery, but the cough keeps hanging around.

I have to admit it, the race on Sunday was a typically Texas race.  The cars get spread out and there are very few cautions.  With that being said, I enjoyed the race.  I still hurts not to be sitting in the crowd with everyone else.  Once you go to a race, you need to keep going.  It’s like a drug.  I am working on attending the November race.  It is going to take some careful planning and to be honest scheming, but hopefully I will be watching the race in November in the stands instead of at home.

Congratulations to Carl Edwards!  He was one of the drivers I had picked on my fantasy team.  I mean he drives for Roush-Fenway and they seem to have Texas figured out.  Carl is the 2nd repeat winner at Texas.  Carl won the inaguaral Fall race back in 2005.  I was at that race and that was a close one that went down to the remaining few laps.  Roush may have Texas figured out, but Jeff Gordon still struggles with Texas.  He still has yet to Victory Lane.  Sunday was no different for Mr. Gordon.  He finished 43rd which in itself is a rarity for Gordon.  As I understand he has only one other time he finished dead last.  That’s not bad for a driver. 

I heard there were some complaints about the new car at TMS.  Just a reminder to these drivers who feel the car wasn’t doing what it needed to do, this is the FIRST time the COT as run at Texas.  You weren’t able to test the car because NASCAR would give TMS a testing date.  So basically there was no data for you go by.  I am sure you pulled in some data from all your research and design folks or the wind tunnel etc, but it’s a little different in real time circumstances.  I am sure the data you got from this weekend will be analzed by those who know what they are doing and I am also pretty sure the fall race will be somewhat better for you.

The boys are headed out to Phoenix this weekend for some Saturday night racing!  I love night racing!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE KANSAS JAYHAWKS!!!  I went to bed last night with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the game and Memphis had a handle on the game.  But wait, that wasn’t the case.  Kansas clawed their way back into the game and with a last second 3-point shot by Chalmers, the game was headed into overtime.  Kansas dominated, in my opinion, the overtime period.  Memphis missed 4 out of 5 free throws late in the game.  As my old basketball coach pounded into my little brain, games are won and lost at the free throw line.  For one, there are basically a free shot.  You have no one guarding you or pressuring you to shoot the ball. You relax and focus on the shot.  It’s just you and ball.  Memphis doesn’t have anything to hang their head down about…you don’t win 38 games in a season and call it a failure.  You beat some quality teams out there…heck, you tore up Texas.   Even though they were representing my home state, I got a little excited when the lost.  That’s my Red Raider blood talking there.  Once again congrats Jayhawks!