Posted in What I know.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Short tracks are my favorite tracks on the circuit.  You get 43 cars in a small arena fighting for the same real estate.  When you hear “going three wide” on a short track, it usually isn’t a good thing.  Short tracks make for some exciting racing, but it also can create some angry and/or hurt feelings during and after the race.  Saturday night was no different at Richmond.  It seemed the fireworks had already started on Friday night after the Nationwide race.  Nelson Piquet Jr kicked Brian Scott, as we say in our household, in the peanuts.  Then members of the RCR Nationwide crew were involved in an altercation outside the track.  Before I get into all “love fest”, I want to talk about the race

Matt Kenseth team’s came into Richmond after receiving severe penalties from NASCAR.  With these penalties, he lost the credit for his pole win.  So with that, Matt Kenseth rolled into Richmond and won the pole!  Up through roughly lap 253, the only two drivers who lead laps was Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.  In fact at one point early on in the race five of the first 6 spots were held by Toyotas.  Kyle took the lead roughly around 253.  It looked like the Toyotas had everything dialed in to the Toyota Owners 400.  The first non-Toyota to lead during the race was Kurt Busch after the 6th caution on lap 203.  It was fun to watch the Busch brothers race at times.  They are very competitive races and want to win and Saturday was no different.  The Busch brothers are aggressive drivers.  I have seen Kyle do things with his car that leave you thinking, “Did I just see that?”  Kyle is having a good year and Kurt is having a decent year, well compared to where he was last year.  I have called both brothers out on this site for their behavior both on and off the track, but I always have given them props for their driving talents.  BUT…I was none too pleased with Kurt after Saturday night (and to be honest there were others at Richmond who were none too pleased either).

Tony was entering the race mired way down in the points and no top ten finish since the 2nd race of the season at Phoenix.  I was hoping this would a chance for Tony to get back on track as the summer stretch approaches.  He tends to get “HOT” this time of year.  So even though, he is in his worst 8 race start of his career, this Tony fan was hoping for a good result on Saturday.  To my surprise, he was mired in the 20s for a third of the race.  Every time there was a caution, I would track where he was when the yellow flag flew and what position he restarted.  Around lap 171, he reached position 17th!  I was excited.  Perhaps if he managed to get to 17th, he could get in the top 15.  After the 5th caution of the night, Tony restarted 13th!  Wow!  I can’t believe how pumped I was for Tony to be up in 13th position.  I thought maybe as the night when the #14 team had gotten something figured out with his car.  He continued to race in these positions until the proverbial black cat hit.  Tony caused a crash.  He got loose and got into Jimmie.  This put him back down to 24th.  He did come over the radio and took 100% responsibility for the crash.  At this point I thought, this evening is over.  Yes, it was at lap 328 and there was still some racing left, but with the troubles this team has had over the last several weeks I wasn’t optimistic.  I have learned you never can count out Tony Stewart.  Tony was up to 5th for the restart after the final caution of the night.  I couldn’t believe it Tony had a shot at the victory! Restarts can be tricky and this one was going to be no different. It was crazy!  All I saw were cars moving every which way to get their best shot at the win.  And like he is known to do, here comes Kevin Harvick.  With the front-runners bearing down, I really did have hope that Tony would have the chance to win.  Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be thanks to Kurt Busch.  From my viewpoint, it looked like Kurt took Tony out of the groove causing Tony to get loose.  Tony was on his way to the best finish he has had since Phoenix.  Tony finished 18th.   Tony was not happy with Kurt and made no bones about it after the race was over.  Of course, Kurt said he didn’t know what the 14 was upset about.  Really Kurt?  Of course, Tony wasn’t the only who was not happy with Mr. Busch.  I believe Matt K. was upset with him as well.  Oh by the way, Tony left without comment.

Congratulations Kevin Harvick!

Other tidbits…

  • I believe the penalties handed down to Matt Kenseth by NASCAR were harsh.  I know NASCAR are hard asses when it comes to fuel, engines and tires.  But in this case, this was a clear oversight on the people at TRD.  In fact Clint Bowyer’s engines from Richmond and Daytona had rods too close for comfort so TRD pulled them out of use.  Because of TRD’s oversight, JGR suffered the brunt of the penalties.  JGR is appealing the penalties.  Joe Gibbs said he was appealing on the severity of the penalties.  It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out.
  • Can Denny Hamlin make a run for The Chase this year?  He has been sidelined since his wreck at California.with a back injury.  It will be a long road for him.  He will have to rattle off some wins along the way, but there are those who think he can do it.  He begins his journey this week at Talladega.  He has been given the clear the start the race which will allow him to receive the driver points.  Then Brian Vickers will take over the car for the rest of the race.  He is targeting the race at Darlington (May 11) to be his first full race since California.
  • Speaking of Brian Vickers, I am glad he has been given the chance to show what he can do in a Cup car.  Like Denny, Brian knows what it is like to see someone else to drive you car.  During the 2010 season Brian had to step away from his ride due to illness.  He did not return to competition until 2011 season.  He has had a rough time the last couple of years, but I think he is back on track with his career.  He is now running full-time for JGR’s Nationwide program as well as driving for MWR.  Keep on plugging away Brian.
  • Favorite term I hear uttered during the broadcast…”roll bar motel”!  Thanks for making me almost spit Coke-Cola all over the floor Mike Joy!

Some final thoughts…I am returning to work as of tomorrow, May 1.  I was planning to start grad school and being a stay-at-home mom.  Unfortunately, grad school cost money and I don’t get a salary as a stay-at-home mom (even though it is one of the hardest jobs around), so I am headed back to the work force.  It may seem weird, but I really like working.  I like being a mom and being around for my kiddos, but being there is something I get from working in an office.  I am nervous, but excited all at the same time.  Luckily, I am returning to the same employer, Texas Tech University, however it will be in a different capacity.  What does this mean for The Park?  Absolutely nothing.  I just will have to do some of my posts late at night or very early in the morning.  Thanks for riding along with them over the years!

Posted in What I know.

At A Loss.

Last post I wrote about NASCAR, I wondered what has gone wrong with the #14 team so far this year.  I am hoping it is just something they haven’t figured out with this new Gen-6 car.  I didn’t watch much of the Kansas race due to the onslaught of out of control weeds in my back yard.  But every time I would pop in during the race Tony was racing between 19-22 place.  I mean it didn’t matter when I came in there he was stuck in that zone.  This is the zone his team has been the last several weeks with his car.  Could it be more than just missing the set up on the car?  Could SHR be stretched too thin with three teams to take care of each week?  Sometimes more doesn’t mean better.  I think if SHR can get Tony’s team on track the other two will fall into place.  I just don’t know any more.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth for winning Kansas.  He is the third driver in a row to win from the pole position.  I have to say the move from Roush Racing to Joe Gibbs has been a positive move for him.  Sometimes changing jobs can make such a huge difference.  Matt, along with Jimmie and Kyle have two wins this season.  Matt is one of those drivers that tends to quiet but deadly.  At times you say to yourself, where did he come from?  I think he is going to be a force during the rest of the season.

Sorry for not writing too much about NASCAR with this post.  Last weeks’ events in Boston and West have had the country engrossed in news outlets for hours at a time.  This includes me.  I found myself watching things unfold on Monday with the bombings in Boston, through Friday when they were able to apprehend the second suspect in the bombings.  I am proud of the law enforcement entities involved in the bringing this manhunt to a conclusion.  Even though I was saddened by the events in Boston, my heart is with the residents of West, Texas.  I am so proud of my state for banding together to support this town of roughly 2700 people.  If you haven’t been through Texas, you can’t understand the vastness of the state.  We are the 2nd largest state in the union.  You can travel all day and never get out of the state.  It takes about 12 hours to bet from my home in Lubbock, Texas (located in the northern part of the state or square part as some have told me) to the Weslaco which is located near the border of Mexico.  It is closer to Los Angeles from El Paso than El Paso to Beaumont.  In this vastness there are many tiny towns and communities many have never heard of.  West, Texas is just one of those outside of Texas you did know existed until Wednesday night.  I have told people about West and they think I am talking about the West Texas region.  This is a mistake.  I would have to clarify by saying West comma Texas.  I do not have to do this any more.  When traveling in the state Texans think about how long it will take not in miles.  But despite all of this Texas has never been so close.  I am so proud of my fellow Texans for banding together to help the city of West and its citizens to try to recover from this horrific event.  If you are in the Waco area, there will be a memorial for the fallen firefighters and EMTs at the Ferrell Center located on the Baylor University campus.  If you can take time out your day to pay tribute, please do so.  These men were heading into the fire while others were running away from the fire.  The memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm.  I wish I could be there, but even though I can’t I will be thinking about these first responders and their families. God Bless.

17999_10151454041688863_1805863015_n

Posted in NASCAR 2013

Pocono 400 and Vegas too

race driven

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.

  1. Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  2. Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  3. Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

As I mentioned, you can vote via walmarturl.com/FanDrivenYou 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.”

  • My youngest is still continuing to amaze me with his continuing fascination with NASCAR.  I was listening to Tony on the scanner on Sunday.  With his PBJ sandwich in hand, he climbed up on my lap and put in the earplug and started listening.  Check him out…chase with pbj

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!

Posted in NASCAR 2012

By The Time I Get To Phoenix…

Before I get to my post about this weekend, I want to wish all my fellow Texans “Happy Texas Independence Day!”

Now on to Phoenix.  I like watching all the activities of Speedweeks when it rolls around every year.  It means that the NASCAR season is upon us.  Preparing for the Daytona 500 is a different element.  Qualifying has two parts.  You have qualifying day where the front is determined.  the other drivers that day are then sorted out into two dual races which sets the field for the 500.  The 500 is the only race on the circuit that has this type of qualifying.  Teams can’t judge where their season will end up after the 500.  I mean look where Jimmie Johnson is now sitting.  You can’t tell me he won’t be challenging for the championship come fall. 

This week begins the real start of the season.  This is wear teams begin their normal routines fo race week.  The boys are in Phoenix this weekend.  This will be the 2nd race on the new configuration. Phoenix has over the last couple been a place where drivers who have had a long winless streak have won.  Last year it was Kasey Kahne in the fall race and Jeff Gordon in spring race.  Will Phoenix have the same result this year?  Will a driver who has not seen victory lane in a while win?  Or will it be a driver from Hendrick Motorsports?  From what I can tell HMS drivers have a pretty good record at PIR. Here is what I found regarding HMS current paddock of drivers.  Jimmie has 4 wins at PIR.  Jeff and Dale have 2 wins.  While Kasey has one.  From these numbers HMS is a strong team going into PIR. 

But I wouldn’t count out the Roush drivers either.  Ford has shown how strong they are already in the season.  Matt Kenseth not only won his dual race, but the Dayton 500.  Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle qualified for the front row last week.  Greg finished 2nd and Carl finished 8th. 

As we know, I will be strongly cheering for my driver Tony Stewart.  He has not won at PIR since 1999.  He has 8 Top 5s and 11 top 10s.  I am hoping he has a good showing at PIR this week.  I was unhappy with his finish at Daytona 500 after winning his dual race and starting the 500 3rd. 

But what we know about NASCAR, each race is different and sometimes it can be a crap shoot on who is going to win.

One more thing from Daytona and this will be it.  I was planning on writing a post about the influence of social media on the sport.  The impact of social media came to the forefront on Monday night.  After Juan Pablo’s car crashed into the jet dryer Brad Keselowski  from his car snapped a picture with his phone and sent it out via Twitter.  Now this was the first time something like this occurred. During the fire delay we saw Brad tweeting from his phone while other drivers gathered around him.  During this time, the number of followers for Brad increased dramatically.  I wasn’t one of the people who joined up on Monday, I had already been following him.  But I found myself following all the action during this delay via Twitter.  Normally during a delay I have been known to flip back and forth between the delay and another program.  But Monday night I found myself glued to the television.  I also found myself becoming part of the conversation.  Some people think Brad should not have been doing this.  I didn’t have a problem with it.  He wasn’t driving his car AND tweeting.  It was only after his car was stopped that he took to his phone.  NASCAR even issued publicly Brad had not committed a violation with his tweeting on Monday.  I loved it.  Brad let us view NASCAR from an insider’s view.  A view many of us never get to experience.  Thank you Brad!  I will hold off my post on social media until next week.

Happy Race Weekend everyone!  Go Tony–bring home that win!

Posted in NASCAR 2012

Daytona 500-The Final Report

This was the weirdest Daytona 500 I have ever seen.  It was filled with a lot of firsts in the 54 year history of the race.

First of all the race that was scheduled to start on Sunday at 12:00, was delayed by rain and postponed until Monday.  This would be the first time in the history of the 500 it would be postponed due to rain.  Monday brought even a further delay for the race.  Instead of starting it at the 12:00 (EST) as announced on Sunday, NASCAR moved the start time to 7:00 pm (EST).  I have to give some props to NASCAR for moving the race time to an evening start time.  This would give track officials to get the track ready and to keep fans from having to sit for hours in the stands waiting for the race to start.  This would mean the 500 would be run in prime time under  the lights–a first for the 500.

But the delay was just the beginning…lap 2…Elliott turns Jimmie Johnson and well, the melee ensued.  Lap 2 people…this is a 200 lap race.  This wreck dashed the hopes of Trevor Bayne to be a repeat winner.  There has been a repeat winner in 10 years.  This crash also ruined the debut of Danica Patrick.  She became the third women in NASCAR history to start the Daytona 500.  Janet Guthrie was the first when she started back in 1977 and then again in 1980.  Followed by Shawna Robinson in 2002.  Jimmie took quite a hit during this crash.  It was interesting to see how Jimmie prepared himself for impact.  I always assumed the drivers put themselves in crash position, but how they did it was a mysterious.  I am still on the fence about seeing what drivers go through during their crashes.

After another early caution the drivers seemed to settle into the race.  Unlike the last couple of years, the drivers did not pair up in the two-car tango.  I wasn’t a big fan of the two-car tandem because it took away some of the fun that I enjoyed about the race.  I loved to see who was going to pair up with who during the race.  I liked the pack racing.  It made for some exciting racing.  It kept you on the edge of your set.  Pack racing does have a higher chance of big crashes, but I think it allows the drivers to be in control of their fate.  I think last night was a little bit of a hybrid–not quite two car tandem and full pack racing.  There were times when two drivers would hook up in the pack to make their way to the front.  Either way it was fun to watch.

Just when you thought this was going to be a normal race (well…after all the delays), you were wrong.  After coming back from commercial after David Stremme brought out the caution, I see a Juan Pablo’s wrecked car in the infield and Juan climbing out of his destroyed car.  Juan Pablo was coming around to catch up with the rest of the pack after his pitstop.  After something apparently broke on his car, he slammed into a safety truck.  Next thing you see is the huge fire back in turn 3.  The jet dryer on the back of the safety truck began to leak 200 gallons of jet/diesel fuel and caught fire.  Yes, I said fire!  It was one of the craziest sights I had seen during a NASCAR race.  Major props to the track and safety workers in battling the fire and getting the track ready for the final 40 laps of the race.  I had to giggle when I saw them bringing out several boxes of Tide detergent.  But that wasn’t the funniest sight to see during this delay.  It was the fact that Brad Keslowski was tweeting from his phone during the entire delay. Once again another first for NASCAR.  Both the driver of the safety truck and Juan Pablo walked away from the accident.  After an almost 2 hour delay, the boys and girl got back in their cars and started racing.

I have to admit the racing after this delay was anticlimactic.  I was hoping there would have been more door to door, edge of your seat racing, but from my recliner it didn’t happen.  It may have been the fact that I was tired, sick and wanted this race to end. I thought Biffle and Junior were going to make a run at Kenseth, but Matt had a fast car and I don’t think they were going to catch him.  Matt Kenseth took his 2nd Daytona 500 win in the last 3 years.  It was 11:55 pm (CST) on my clock when Matt took the checkered.  I, along with NASCAR Nation, were very grateful the “hostage crisis” known as the Daytona 500 was over.

Other tidbits from the race

  • Tony Stewart who won his dual race on Thursday, however this didn’t translate over to last night.  He finished 16th after a late race crash.  His 14th attempt to win the Daytona 500 wasn’t in the cards last night.  He has won everything at Daytona.  This is the one race that has eluded him.
  • Martin Truex won the midway bonus.  That is a cool $200,ooo for Mr. Truex
  • Danica finished 38th
  • Only one Hendrick car survived the race–Dale finished 2nd.  Jimmie crashed on lap 2, Jeff lost an engine, and Kasey got caught up in a late race crash.  Looks like Mr. Hendrick will be writing some checks for some sheet metal.
  • Possible penalties and fines ahead for Chad Knaus after Jimmie’s car failed inspection due to an illegal C-post on the #48?
  • Congratulations to Kevin and Delana Harvick on the announcement they are expecting a boy later this year.
  • Congratulations to Ryan and Krissie Newman and big sis Brooklyn on the announcment they are expecting a little girl.
  • Condolescences and prayers to the Chris Myers and his family as they deal with the loss of their son Christopher.

Well…this closes out 2012 Speedweeks.  The boys are headed to Phoenix this week and I for one can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Posted in NASCAR 2012

Daytona

I will post my notes about the race later today once I have had tons of caffeine and some sleep.

In the meantime…congratulations to Matt Kenseth on his 2nd Daytona 500 win!

Posted in NASCAR 2010, Tony Stewart

Daytona

I have to say, I was most definitely surprised how Daytona unfolded.  I didn’t get to watch much of the race due to the fact I was spending some quality time with some wonderful friends and family in New Mexico.  However, I was able to listen in on Channel 128 on my Sirius radio throughout the day. 

As the day started I had high hopes for Tony.  Afater all he came thisclose to winning his dual race and won his third Nationwide race in a row on Saturday.  Tony has won pretty much everything you can at Daytona except for the elusive 500.  But it just wasn’t meant to be this year.  Tony had a rough go of it on Sunday.  I wish had been able to see what had happened to his car and why he ended up 22nd after starting in 6th.  It was also a rough night for the other Stewart Haas Racing team as well.  Ryan Newman finished 34th.  But I have to remember this is race #1.  There’s quite a bit of racing before the Chase begins. 

I was so excited about Jamie McMurray winning his first Daytona 500.  He was essentially let go last season from the #26 over at Roush Racing.  This was due to the fact Roush needed to get to the four race team limit and well Jamie was at the short end of the stick.  Jamie ended up back with his former team at Ganassi-Earhardt to drive the #1.  Was Jamie’s win a surprsie to everyone?  To me no.  The #1 has always run good at restrictor plate races.  Let’s just say it was a pleasant surprise.

Since I didn’t get to post on Monday because I was on the road and didn’t have my computer, I am going to hit the highlights of Speed Weeks.

1. Danica Patrick–she did a pretty good job in both the ARCA and Nationwide races.  She is still learning the ropes with this type of car.  I like the fact that she didn’t come in and say “Here I am” .  I am going to go out in win “x” number of races and compete for the title.  Nope…she understands how hard the car is to drive and she repsects the drivers who are already in the sport.  She is asking questions and taking advice from her crew chief, owner, and fellow drivers.  I can see myself becoming a fan of hers.  What I hope doesn’t happen is that because the media is pulling an all out blitz covering her, that it turns off fans.  I think that is part of the reason I am not a fan of Junior.

2.  Pothole–I hated the fact the 500 was delayed for something such as a pothole, but these things happen.  If you live anywhere where their is cold wet weather, you know what I am talking about.  Crack in the driving surface, it rains, water gets in the crack, temperatures drop below 32 degrees, water freezes, makes crack bigger, 43 cars driving over it at high rates of speed, the track is bound to say enough.  I do applaud NASCAR for trying to get the race in on Sunday.  They were doing everything they could to fix the pothole and get back to racing.  The cool thing about the delay for me was I was able to get back from White Sands, NM in time to see the finish of the 500. 

3.  Green White Checker–I was a little skeptical when NASCAR announced the new rule change.  At first I was thinking WTF, but once I sat down and got off the ledge, I began to understand why they did what they.  I am glad they set a limit on the number of greeh white checkers that can occur.  I think 3 is just right.  I hate having races finish under the yellow flag.  In my opinion, let the boys race for win.

4.  Have at boys–I am loving the fact that NASCAR is allowing the drivers to take care of business on the track.  In my opinion NASCAR was getting too anal about things.  Let these boys race.  If a driver is continously beatin’ and bangin’ and wrecking other drivers, the drivers will take care of it.  Trust me just ask JPM when he tangled with Smoke.

5.  Baby Boom-Congratuatlations to Elliot Sadler and his wife on the birth of their son Wyatt.  I haven’t seen anything on Carl’s little girl arrival yet, but I am sure it will be any day now.

6.  Matt Kenseth–Matt’s crew was fired yesterday.  I found this rather odd.  I would have thought if you were having doubts about the crew chief you would have taken care of that in the off season.  But I am not Jack Roush and I am not championship NASCAR driver.  So I don’t even want to begin to speculate why this was done after the first race of the season.  Talk about a complete 360 though.  This time last Matt and his crew chief were celebrating their first Daytona 500 win.  Sometimes NASCAR can be a humbling sport.  All I know Jack isn’t afraid to fire or make changes, just ask Kurt Busch.

And finally….today, 9 years ago, the sport of NASCAR lost its beacon–Dale Earnhardt Sr.  I still miss seeing the #3 out there on the track.  I did, however, see a little bit of Earnhardt Sr., in the move the his son made in the last laps of the 500 on Sunday.  I am not a fan of Junior, but I have to give him his kudos for that hell of move he made to get to the front of the pack.  We still miss The Intimidator.  Rest in Peace #3.