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.
- First Tony gets the first win for Stewart Haas Racing last week, now Ryan wins the pole for the Coke 600 on Sunday. Woo Hoo!
- Tony qualified 28th for Sunday’s race. I am not too concerned about Tony’s qualifying spot. It’s a long race and a lot can happen during that time. I mean he didn’t exactly start up front at the All-Star race and we all know how that turned out.
- I see Jeff Gordon received treatment for his chronic back trouble. I can understand how he must feel. I have chronic back pains and I know how painful they can be. Of course, I am sure last week’s crash during the All-Star race didn’t help his back. It would not surprise me if he continues to have trouble with his back that he retires earlier than he anticipated. Oh by the way he is starting third.
- I have to say I am a little tired of all the Jeremy Mayfield situation. I can’t put my finger on it, but something just doesn’t seem right with this situation. Could Claritin D been the culprit? If so, is this the reason NASCAR hasn’t come out and said anything? I mean after all Claritin D is a sponsor for a major Cup team. It’s just a thought. Either way this is going to be interesting to see how NASCAR’s drug testing policies and procedures stand up to scrutiny.
- And what was up with Jimmie’s new hairstyle? I do have to say it does distract me from his beard. It’s not too bad. In fact he now has the same hairstyle as Little Smoke.
I am so ready for this weekend to get under way. I mean I will be heading out to the store to pick up supplies for Day ‘O Racing. I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. As you are going throughout your weekend enjoying all that food, beverage, sun and of course racing remember what this weekend is truly about. Stop and take a moment to say “Thank You” to a soldier or a veteran. For it wasn’t for all the brave men and women in the military, we would be able to enjoy the freedoms we have to day. Thank you to my dad (Air Force), my father-in-law (Army), my uncles Cecil, Junior, Chris, Bill (Air Force, Marines), my cousin, Joe (Navy) as well as Mike (Air Force) and Jack (Marines). You served our country with pride and honor and I thank you.
Sorry about not posting in awhile–this is my busiest time at work and I am lucky to get out with some kind of damage like at Talladega. So with that being said here is my bullet list for the past couple of weeks.
- I was ok with the result of the Richmond race. I was hoping for a Denny Hamlin victory or at least closer to the front so it would have given me a bigger lead in my fantasy league, but I came out leading the points after that race. Not too shabby I must say. Congratatulations to Kyle Busch for yet another win this year. Say what you want, but this boy can drive that car. With the win at Richmond that gave him 4 wins so far on the season.
- How ’bout that race at Darlington? That’s the second win for Mr. Mark Martin this year. It’s 2 wins in the last four races. He is now up to the 11th spot in the standings with 20 bonus points. He has one more win than teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. And 2 more than Junior. I believe I heard this was his first multiple race win season since 2000, but I am not sure on that stat. I was half listening at times and I think it was on the radio and not tv.
- Thanks Jeff Burton for a decent finish for me. You allowed me to keep my lead in my fantasy league. Granted it’s a small one, but a lead nonetheless.
- I listen to quite a bit of NASCAR on Sirius. No matter what the topic somehow, someway, talk will turn about Juniors’s performance or lack there of this season. Normally when the talk turns to Junior I usually switch channels because frankly I really don’t care about it, but the other day one of the callers made a decent point. He said perhaps Junior doesn’t know how to communciate to Eury Jr. about how this new car reacts or what needs to be done. This is a different car than the old one. I mean all you have to do is look at how Jeff has struggled with the car. I have watched Junior drive the wheels of the Nationwide car. However this car is similar to the old car. I just think Mr. Hendrick is going to have some tough choices ahead of him. I mean think abou this…Mark Martin just joined HMS this year and he already has more wins with HMS than Junior has with HMS.
- I am excited about the results Stewart Haas has been putting up lately. Tony and Ryan finished 3rd and 4th respectively at Darlington. Both drivers are in the top 12 with Tony sitting 2nd just 29 points right behind Jeff Gordon. While Ryan is sitting 8th in the points. I am excited about the rest of the season. Both drivers are so close to that first win for Stewart Haas. I would love for Tony to get the first win for his team, but I would take a Newman too.
- How ’bout them rookies? Brad K finished 7th and Joey Lagano finished 9th.
- I have to say I was a little disappointed about the suspension of Jeremy Mayfield from NASCAR especially since he was tryign to make a go of it with his own team this year. This is a no-tolerance policy. I can’t say I blame NASCAR for having such stringent policies. Does a driver want to be out on the track driving 150 plus mph with another driver who may be under the influence. Will Jeremy be able to come back into NASCAR at some point? I can’t answer that. But it is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. Jeremy has named his wife Shana as the owner and tagged JJ Yeley to drive his #41 car.
- It’s all-star week in NASCAR. One of my favorite events takes place tomorrow–the pit crew challenge. I love to watch this event. This is the time these guys get to show what makes them best out there. Many times these guys get no recognition unless they make a huge mistake, but if it wasn’t for these guys doing what they do best soem of these drivers would be able to do what they do best.
- Have you voted for your favorite driver? I have a couple of times, but that’s about it. I will go and vote a couple of more before the deadline. So if haven’t voted…go vote!
- Don’t forget about NASCAR Day on Friday May 15. Wear your favorite NASCAR gear to work, home, or whereevery to let everyone know what NASCAR means to you. Of course, for those who are friends and family memebers of a NASCAR fan, you already know what NASCAR means to them.