Before I visit Vegas, let’s take a quick visit to Pocono…
I have posted about a wonderful contest sponsored by Walmart and Pocono Speedway the past several weeks. Fans would be given the opportunity to name the Pocono 400 race on June 9, 2013. Fans were able to submit their names for the name via walmarturl.com/FanDriven. Three finalists have been chosen and now it is your turn to help these NASCAR fans. Before you head on over to vote, here are the three finalists.
- Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
- Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
- Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan
As I mentioned, you can vote via walmarturl.com/FanDriven. You are able to vote once a day, every day until April 8! So head on over and help choose the name of the Pocono 400. By the way, I have already voted today!
If you are thinking about heading to Pocono, you can take advantage of great offer. You can purchase tickets for the race on June 9 for ONLY $25! That’s right! ONLY $25! You better hurry though, there will only be 16,000 of these specially priced tickets. These tickets can be purchased at Walmart.com/NASCAR or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com/
Now back to Vegas…
If looked at the odds (shameless use of Vegas cliché), Jimmie Johnson had the best chance to win on Sunday. After all he has won 4 times at Vegas. To be honest early on I thought Jimmie was going to run away with the race. But as we all know, you can lead the most laps and have the fastest car of the day and not win. Clearly Kasey Kahne had the car to beat most of the race. He was up front and racing for the win.
Several drivers were complaining their car was loose including Tony Stewart. If you know Tony Stewart, if he is complaining about a loose race car, things aren’t going to great. And that is what happened. It went south for the #14 team early on. He stayed pretty much mired back in 23/24 place most of the day. However, he was able to get the lucky dog after the caution flew for Bobby Labonte’s spin. I don’t think at that point in the race he had the car to win the race. I just wanted him to have a decent finish. And he ended up finishing 11th. I know it had to be frustrating for him. He has the third highest driver rating over the previous 8 races at Vegas. He was also the defending race champion. But as you know Vegas can be cruel to her visitors.
Congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the #20 team! I like Matt Kenseth and I am thankful he ended up in a great organization. The #20 still holds a special place in my heart. It was the ride for Tony Stewart until he left JGR to form Stewart Haas Racing. I was none too thrilled when Joey Lagano took over his #20. But when it was announced last year that Matt Kenseth would take over the #20 I was pumped. Matt Kenseth is a great driver. I knew he would get that #20 back to Victory Lane! This was Matt’s third race in the #20. The sure joy in his voice when he got those checkers was great! And of course, this was a great way to spend your birthday…in Victory Lane! I don’t think this will be the last visit to Victory Lane for the #20 this year.
The talk was about how the Gen-6 car was going to perform on the first of the 1.5 mile tracks. Several drivers complained of the car being loose. Was it the car itself? I know that many crew chiefs couldn’t have missed the mark. Was it the track? The drivers in pre-race interviews said they thought the track was going to be hot and slick and well fast. It seemed track position was important in this race as well. Once a car got out in front, he was gone. Many drivers received penalties for speeding and/or uncontrolled equipment. Kyle Busch got tagged for speeding early on in the race. He finished 4th. I am not a huge fan of Mr. Busch, but that man can wheel a race car.
Few other tidbits…
- Thank you NASCAR. I, along with many other fans, have had issues with Raceview. I sent an email last week to voice my concerns and politely asking for a refund. This week, I received an email from NASCAR.com stating I had been refunded $9.95. That is equivalent to a monthly charge for Raceview. I know it may not seem like a lot, but it for me it went a long way. And…I was able to log in to Raceview! I did have some issues, but I don’t think it was on NASCAr.com’s end, but mine. My internet access was sporadic during the day.
- I so want to go to a race in Vegas! My buddy over at http://www.badgroove.com/ makes an annual pilgrimage to Vegas every year. Every time she goes, she has a blast along with her friend Misty. One of these days, I will make the pilgrimage to Vegas! I can’t wait to read her post about her Vegas vacation.
- The “what the heck what were they thinking” moment of the race came when NASCAR threw a caution when Marcos Ambrose spun his car. His car started spinning and Marcos was able to get it back going right and headed back onto the track. No other cars in sight. I don’t get it. Of well…that is NASCAR.
- Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR this past week for his comments about the Gen-6 car after the Phoenix race. He is refusing to pay the fine. I read what he said on ESPN.com and to be honest I didn’t see anything disparaging about his comments. It wasn’t like he got out of his car and said the car sucked ala Kyle Busch. But NASCAR has worked tirelessly on the Gen-6 car. I can understand their point of view too. Here is what I found on ESPN.com, you can judge for yourself.
“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Gen-5 cars,” Hamlin told reporters after the race won by Carl Edwards. “This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right. “Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 [laps] to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything.”
This week the boys are headed out to Bristol for some short track racing! Once again a new test for the Gen-6 car. Have a great week everyone!