The “Bermuda Triangle”

The first race at Pocono this season is in the books.  Pocono is different than the other tracks the drivers go to on the circuit.  You have three turns that are completely different from each other.  And to boot, it is 2.5 miles around the thing.  This can make for a long and at times boring race.  I wasn’t worried about missing part of the race today with my weekly yard chores. I finished the yard work and came in to enjoy the air conditioning and lo and behold Mother Nature struck at Pocono.  This isn’t unusual for Pocono.  Sometimes it could be raining on one part of the track and dry on the next.  I mean afterall it is 2.5 miles around the dang place (oh yea I did mention that before).

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin.  This marks Denny’s 4th win at Pocono in nine starts.  I would have to say Denny knows how to get around the “Triangle”.  From what I saw of the last 80 laps, it was clear who the class of the field was at Pocono.  Even with late race strategies, Denny made his way to the front of the pact along with his teammates Kyle and Joey.  At one point it looked like the JGR team was going to have three cars in the top 5 along with a former JGR driver.  But that wasn’t the case…apparently Kevin Harvick had other ideas about the ending.  Kevin, in his typical Harvick fashion, laid a bumper to Joey and well…that’s where Joey went around.  It looked he was going to keep it from spinning, but the #20 was just too much for Joey.  The fireworks didn’t end there.  Joey definitely wanted to confront Mr. Harvick about his actions.  I have to say good for you Joey.  There are times I wonder what Harvick is thinking behind that wheel.  From what I could see from the replay, this spin did not have to happen.  Of course I wasn’t behind the wheel of the #29 so who am I to say what could or could not have been done to avoid the #29 laying the bumper to the #20.  This is not the first time Harvick has done this and as I can assume it will probably won’t be the last.  Either way, it was good to see Joey stand up and take it to Harvick.  

Quote of the weekend from Joey Lagano…”I don’t know what his problem is with me but it’s probably not his fault.  His wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do.”

What was the deal with the big crash?  That looked like a crash you see at Talladega not Pocono.  When Kasey came back across the track, you knew it was going to pretty.  Mark and Greg pretty much had nowhere to go.  From the what I could tell, it looked like Kasey was trying to make a move around his teammate and AJ through a block.  A block that pushed Kasey all the way to the grass.  Grass + NASCAR car at high speed = not a good outcome (excluding the “Pass and the Grass” move).  I guess it itsn’t the year for the word teammate. 

Tony finished 3rd.  Tony needed this finish.  He hasn’t exactly been lighting it up on the race track lately.  He has moved up to 13th in the standings.  Next week is Michigan and then on to Sonoma for some road racing at Sonoma.  Tony definitely  can make up some ground and perhaps get back into the top 12 in standings.  I loved his post race interview with TNT.  He wasn’t too upset about his finish considering he won the race last year (his first in the SHR #14).  I also have to chuckle at his beard.  Perhaps Denny, along with Tony’s teammate Ryan, should have used their pull as Gillette Young Guns get Tony a new stash of razors.  And can I just say…NO TO THE MULLETT!  That’s right…JUST SAY NO!  Neither Kyle or Ryan can pull that look off…and to be honest can anyone really pull of that look?

Saturday Night Special

Whew…what a race, well at least in the closing moments.  I didn’t get to watch much of the race last night, Little Smoke was being a little ornery.  He’s 4 and a boy so no further explanation should be necessary.

But I guess I did tune in at the right moment, Kyle Busch took his car to victory lane last night breaking the Gibbs #20 domination over the last several races in Nationwide.  It was kind of ironic that a Gibbs driving did break the #20 car’s domination however.  But the real excitement wasn’t in Victory Lane, it was in the pits.  

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy, bumped Hamlin’s back bumper under the yellow right before the green/white checker.  Apparently Denny wasn’t happy with the bump from behind so Denny proceeds to get into Brad’s left front corner panel.  And well…that’s where everything went south.  Pit crews were “discussing” the incident in the pits while Kyle Busch was celebrating his victory on the track.  Nothing like a good “discussion” on a Saturday night.  Reminds me of those Saturday nights I spent with  my dad at the dirt track.

Denny-“Give a guy two inches to let him clear, and don’t just hang onto my rear quarter panel,” said Hamlin, who made it clear that his retaliation was for the bump under caution, not for the way Keselowski had raced him. “You throw a rock, I’m going to throw a concrete block back.”

Brad-“I race one day a week, not two,” he said. “I have 200 laps to prove myself, not 400. I have to make the most of every lap.”

Junior-“What the hell did he do that for?” asked Earnhardt, Keselowski’s car owner, after the race. “Brad bumped him just a little bit under caution, and Denny knocked the fender off his car. Now the car’s all tore up.

Sounds like Denny doesn’t like to be raced hard.  Um…did Denny get the memo?  Isn’t that what racing is about?  This is NASCAR Denny.  Like I said I didn’t get to see all of the race so I cannot say if Brad was driving him too hard or not.  In my opinion, as long as the racing is clean what’s wrong with a little hard racing.  C’mon on now!  Hey Denny…it’s time to put your big boy undies on and deal with it.

One more thing…Congratulations to Donny Lia for winning the Ohio 250 yesterday in Mansfield, Ohio yesterday afternoon on a last lap pass.  This was his first win in 8 starts in the Craftsman Truck Series and the first time a rookie has a won a race since Carl Edwards did it in 2003.  Way to go Donny

Now on with the “Day O’ Racing”.  I got my food, my adult beverage of choice and a nice comfortable chair to watch all the action.  I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day!

One more

Carl Edwards is done with the silly season before it kicked into high gear. It was announced today Carl Edwards has resigned to driver for Roush-Fenway racing. One free agent down…so many more to go.

Now on to some Friday night racing. I really didn’t watch much of the race. It was on in the background, but to be honest it was mostly background noise for me. I would like to congratulate Denny Hamlin for winning the race from the pole. In the closing laps, there was a caution and race leader Kevin Harvick chose to stay out on old tires while Denny decided to go in to get fresh new ones. This was Denny’s home track and he had never won at the track either in Nationwide or Cup. In the closing laps Denny passed Kevin and took the lead for good. But Kyle Busch was headed towards the front. I changed the channel for just a second and switched back and it was over. Denny was doing his victory burnout. And ESPN was showing Kyle and Steven Wallace “discussing” the race. Of course we all know how tempers can flare at the short track. I am sure they were both called to the “principal’s office” after the race. Congratulations Denny!

I will be watching tomorrow night more closely. I really do like short track racing. With the momentum from tonight will Denny sweep the weekend? Will Junior get his first victory in roughly two years or will his teammate Jeff Gordon come away with his first win of the season? Of course as well all know, just when you think you have everything figured it, you don’t.

Oh…blurb running across the bottom of my tv screen…Eddie Gossage offering a wee bit of money to run at the IRL race in June at TMS.

Just another day in NASCAR….