I have to say I love Memorial Day weekend. To me it’s the start of summer, even though the official date isn’t until someone in June. It also means my birthday is a few weeks away, but most of all it means I get to celebrate Day o’ Racing! I have been somewhat unofficially declaring the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend Day O’ Racing! I mean three races in one day–Monaco, Indy 500, and the Coke 600! I usually don’t get up early on Sunday to watch Monaco, sorry boys, I like my sleep and as you know the Coke 600 is a marathon. I need my rest!
I have been somewhat posting pretty religiously about Day O’ Racing since 2005. I started looking back on my posts and I have to say some of them are quite entertaining. Back in 2006, Tony ended up hitting the wall and fracturing his right scapula. For the most part, Charlotte seems to get the best of Tony at times. If you want to check out some blasts from the past, you can, just click on the year (2005, 2007, 2008, two posts from 2009(a), 2009(b), 2010). Sorry there really isn’t much from 2012 and nothing from 2011 (this was due in part to my father’s death on April 18 of that year).
I was excited for this year’s version of Day O’ Racing! I love watching the Indy 500! There is so much tradition surrounding this event, how can you not watch? If there was only one race a year I watched growing up, it was the Indy 500! In fact, I told my husband, this was at the top of my race bucket list, yes, even before the Daytona 500. I love how the drivers are introduced, the playing of taps, and of course no Indy 500 would be complete without Jim Nabors singing “Back Home in Indiana”. I don’t know if Indy will be the same once Jim Nabors is no longer able to sing at Indy. I guess they could CGI him in. I mean they can do all kinds of things with technology these days. Any how, I was excited about this race! For one, AJ Allmendinger! I mean AJ had a rough 2012. But I was glad to see he had been given a second chance with Roger Penske. It was so exciting to see him lead laps and I thought how AWESOME it would be if he won the whole darn thing, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. He had issues with his seat belt and had to pit under green. But as much as I would have loved to have seen AJ get the checkers, my heart was with Tony Kanaan! That’s right, I cheer for another Tony on Day O’ Racing. Indy 500 has been that elusive win for Mr. Kanaan. Just like the Daytona 500 with some racers, the Indy 500 can be a cruel bitch! But not this year, my friends! After 12 years of trying, Tony got see those checkered flags fly for him!
Now I thought to myself, maybe this was a good sign for my other Tony! I took some time to catch my breath and eat because the marathon was coming up later in the afternoon. Just like with a marathon you have to pace yourself, and the Coke 600 is no different. This is the longest race of the year for the competitors. Of course, not everyone will make the complete 600 miles. As much as I like to say I watched the entire race, I didn’t. There are parts of the race that can get kind of, shall we say, boring. I have to say, the weirdest part of the race was when the cable dohickey thing broke and wreaked havoc with competitors as well as race fans. NASCAR red flagged the race. Normally under red flag conditions, teams cannot work on the cars. They can look all they, but no touching is allowed until the yellow flag is back out. However, NASCAR allowed teams to work on the cars for 15 minutes. Plus the drivers were given their spots back when the caution came out. I have to say kudos to NASCAR for making this decision since this was something beyond the competitors control. I am glad no fans were seriously hurt and escaped with minor injuries.
But as with the Coke 600, teams need to adjust to the track conditions. This is a race that starts in the daytime and finishes up in the night-time. The teams who can make the best adjustments throughout the day usually find themselves at the front late in the race. Kasey Kahne was poised to win another Coke 600, but a late yellow changed everything. What do you do if you are Kasey? If you stay out, the rest of the field comes in, you come in the field stays out. Kasey stayed out and well, the majority of the field pitted. Kasey still had a shot to win the race, but to me his restart wasn’t the best and especially on older tires. As the drivers took the green, here comes The Closer–Kevin Harvick to the front! Once he got out in front, it was over. I don’t care if Kurt looked to be making a charge, Kevin had this race. Congratulations Kevin!
Oh a high note, Tony scored his first top 10 finish since Phoenix! Maybe they have figured things out. This Gen 6 car has all of SHR befuzzled and bemused! I know Tony likes to win, but he was glad to take this type of finish after all the struggles over the past couple of months. Maybe Tony can take this positive upswing into Dover this weekend!
- Can’t believe we are half way through the first 26 races. Right now, Jimmie Johnson is leading the points and has 2 wins. Here is the rest of the Top 10 [Edwards (1 win), Kenseth (3 wins), Bowyer (0 wins), Kahne (1 win), Dale Jr. (0 wins), Harvick (2 wins), Menard (0 wins), Truex (0 wins), Keselowski (1 win)]. It looks like the 2 wild cars will go to Kyle Busch (sitting 11th and has 2 wins) and Eric Almirola sitting in 12th spot.
- If some drivers don’t step it up the might find themselves out of the Chase this year. Some of these drivers include Greg Biffle (13th), Jeff Gordon (15th), Kurt Busch (18th) and Tony Stewart (20th). None of these drivers has a win so far this season.
- Even though David Ragan has a win, he is outside the top 20. He is currently sitting 27th.
- Denny Hamlin is sitting right now at 24th. He would still have to get into the top 20 to even have a shot to make the Chase.
My final thoughts…
I haven’t been a big Kurt Busch fan over the years. I don’t discount his talent. Just like his brother, he can drive the wheels off his car. Kurt was the first driver to win a championship under the Chase format back in 2004. But some of Kurt’s backlash is his own doing. But I think he is having a good year even though he doesn’t have a win as of yet. He has been thisclose, but has been able to seal the deal. So far Kurt has shown some promise with the Furniture Row Racing team this year. I believe Kurt will get the elusive win this year. Maybe this is what Kurt needs. Sometimes you have to take a step back to realizee how lucky you are to race in one of the premiere racing divisions.
Tony needs some good Mojo right now…so here’s my shameless gratuitous picture of Tony!