NASCAR 2010

It has been awhile since I have posted anything of substance here in The Park.  This has been in part to my little affection for Facebook, but I found I really do miss The Park.  I didn’t think I would because it was becoming something I felt I had to do.  But then I realized it was a place I could escape and talk NASCAR.  I don’t have many people around who have the same passion I have about NASCAR.  In fact many don’t even understand and when I try to explain, well, it’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a 6 year old. 

By the end of the 2009 season I was drained.  I hate to say it, but I grew tired and even at times complacent with NASCAR.  I guess after the Chase began and it was inevitable Jimmie was going to win his 4th championship I found other things to bide my time on Sunday afternoons like football.  I don’t think I really watched a whole Chase race in 2009.   But the off season has allowed me to get rejuvenated for NASCAR.  I have my new 2010 Tony Stewart calendar up in my office.  I have perusing the bookstores and the local Walmarts looking for my preseason magazines in order to prepare for the 2010 season.  I have already warned my family and friends that NASCAR season is just around the corner. 

I have high hopes for the 2010 season.  I am interested to see how the new rear spoiler will perform versus the previous wing on the car.  I wasn’t aware that Tony was in my home state of Texas doing a tire test at TMS with the new wing on the car.  It doesn’t look too bad.  I hope it does what the drivers and NASCAR hope it does.  I hope it brings some more exciting racing.  Racing was exciting last year, but I am always looking for more. 

I think this 2010 season will be one to watch.  I am looking to see if Jimmie can be dethroned as NASCAR champion.  I am not diminishing his run as champion and what he has accomplished the last four years, but I would like to see the #14 standing atop at the end of the season as NASCAR season.  The only other driver that I would be ok with is Mark Martin.  He had an amazing 2009 season.  I think it surprised a lot of NASCAR fans.  It was as if he had been rejuvenuted and he was a 50 year old man driving aorund, but a 24 year old.  He definitely raised the stakes for everyone last year and he has set the bar high for the 2010 season.

There has been much discussion over the offseason about Danica Patrick’s foray into NASCAR.  At this point I am not swayed either way.  I think she has the skill set to race in NASCAR , but how she will fair is another story.  I am looking forward to seeing her out there racing against the boys.  Part of me wants to see her and Kyle Busch tangle and watch it all unfold.  She isn’t afraid to go over and tell a driver how it is and neither is he.

I love the double file restarts in Cup and Nationwide.  It definitely made the restarts fun to watch.  Now you the Truck series will have double file restarts.  Truck racing is crazy as it is and now you have double file restarts….wow…let the racing begin!

And finally….Dale Jr.  If you have been to The Park you know I am NOT a Dale Jr. fan.  He will be heading into his thrid year wtih HMS and he hasn’t performed up the expectations as everyone wanted.  There were times Dale Jr. was racing his heart out and having great days only to end up in the crapper.  I think removing Tony Jr. was a move that needed to be made.   Perhaps now that he will have a full year with Lance McGrew will help him get back to where his fans, owner, and Junior himself want him to be.  I have to say there were times during interviews he sounded like he didn’t want to be at the track or even racaing.  But we all get like that at our jobs.  We begin to question why we chose the career we did and if we should continue.  Perhaps this off season he has had a chance to step back and see where he wants to go and he will get back on track (no pun intended). 

Well…that’s about it for now.  I am so pumped for the season to begin.  How ’bout you?

Fireworks!

I can’t believe I haven’t been here in The Park for a few weeks.  It has been somewhat crazy in my life.  I am still adjusting to a new little one in the house, but it has been fun. 

I have been watching quite a bit of NASCAR lately that I haven’t ignored.  There has been some greating racing over the last few weeks and last night was no exception.  I didn’t get a heck of a lot of race watching in because we had some friends over for the 4th.  As we all racing at Daytona doesn’t disappoint the fans.  Because there was a rainout of qualifying and by virtue of the rules, Tony was once again sitting in the cat bird’s seat at the start of the race.  But Daytona is one of those tracks where starting up front doesn’t necessarily give you an advantage. However, it doesn’t hurt.  From the part of the race I did get to watch Tony had everything dialed last night.  After shooting off fireworks outside with friends, family and a few neighbors, I came back in to watch some more fireworks. Tony was clearly headed for his second win of the season in my book, but with a late caution and the laps winding down it looks like it wasn’t going to be easy.  With the double file restarts that put Kyle Busch on the outside of Tony on the front row.  As the green flag dropped they were off.   Klye go around Tony and took the lead and the white flag, but this IS Daytona.  It ain’t over until the checkered flag is flown and the car in lead crosses the finish line.  Tony got behind Kyle in order to make his move.  As Tony moved out from behind the #18, Kyle went to block and that’s when this went crazy.  Kyle clipped Tony’s front bumper and well, into the wall went Kyle as Tony crossed the finish line victorious.  Unfortunately, Kyle got the worse end of it courtesy of Kasey’s #9 and a few other cars.   I was so excited and yes that was me and the rest of the Smoke fans cheering.  Congratulations Tony!

For those out there who may think Tony took Kyle out for the victory are just plain wrong.  It was racing.  We all knew something was going to happen.  Would I have been upset if it was Tony hitting the wall?  I am sure I would have been, but I would hope after seeing the footage I would have seen it was just a racing deal.  I hope that I would have had the objectivity to see that it was racing deal if the tables were turned.  Even in the post race interview with TNT, Tony seemed bothered by the end of the race.  TNT of course didn’t show much post race coverage, but I wonder what Kyle was thinking about the results.  I would hope he would understand like Tony it was racing.  That’s it…racing!  When you have two passionate racers like Tony and Kyle challenging for the win they would understand how things work.  Now matter what they put on a good show.

Now for the last couple of weeks…

  • I loved how the road race turned out.  I would have loved Tony to have one, but I was happy for Kasey.  I mean when you hold off one of the better road racers towards the end, you deserve the win. 
  • Congratulations to Joey Lagano for his first NASCAR win last week at New Hampshire.  I know there are those who think it wasn’t fair to get your first win on a rain shortened race, but who cares.  A win is  a win.  I am sure Joey would have like to continue the race and caputre the win a different way, but Mother Nature had other ideas.   Isn’t part of racing out thinking the other teams?  The leaders had the same opportunity to start out, but they chose to pit.  It’s not like Zippy hasn’t seen a few of these situations before.  I mean he has two championships under his belt.  Besides, Joey would have had to pit if the race had continued.  I thought it was very classy of Tony to come over and congratulate Joey and Zippy. 
  • Doube file restarts have brought a little excitement back into the racing and are going to start playing into some teams’ strategies if they have already.  I still want to see how the double file restarts would fair in trucks.  The trucks already put on some of the best racing around.  Can you imagine what double file restarts would do?
  • Jeremy Mayfield…this is going to get messier before things all settle out.  As I have said before this is going to be interesting to see if NASCAR’s drug policy stands up to scruntiny.  I haven’t said too much about the whole Jeremy saga in The Park, but the only thing that bothers is the fact he didn’t tell NASCAR about the prescription he was taking prior to the drug test.  If anything that can come out of all is that NASCAR can step and reexam it’s drug policies and procedures, then so be it.

I hope to get back on track with things here in The Park now that I have a handle on things on the home front.  I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.