Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Our Long National Nightmare is Over - Jimmie Wins!
Well, thank God, that's over. Jimmie won before he forgot how to do a burnout! I can't really say I was concerned but it's a relief to have JJ in the win column all the same. And he's won a pole now so he's safely in the Chase as well as next year's Sprint Unlimited. Now we need to get Matt in. I feel the same about him as I did Jimmie....there no real concern that he won't be in the Chase but still......you want to know for sure that all the top guys are going to be there. Matt is like Jimmie was in that he's knocking on the door almost every week so it is only a matter of time.
Lagging behind are Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart. Martin Truex, Jr, Jamie McMurray. Maybe Aric Almirola will make it. He's showing flashing of being really good this year. And Marcos if he wins on one of the road courses. If I could pick two others to be there, it would be Danica and Kyle Larson. But that's me. I'm sure the Danica haters wouldn't agree which, of course, would be a lot of the fun of her doing it.
Part of the excitement of this weekend was Kurt pulling the double. A rookie IndyCar driver racing a back-up car to 6th in the Indy 500 seems like an extraordinary accomplishment to me. I wonder if any of the IndyCar drivers could do the same in a NASCAR race? It seems that it takes the ones who've come over to NASCAR a much longer time to become acclimated. Is that because Kurt is especially talented or is it because of the differences in the two types of racing?
A lot of the discussion on Sirius XM NASCAR radio was about Kevin Harvick "throwing his pit crew under the bus". I didn't really see it that way. He was stating facts and baldly asserting that the team needs to get that part of it's operation under control. It's very possible that Kevin would have won the 600 if not for a loose lugnut. That has got to sting. They are consistently either The fastest or at least one of the fastest cars on the track and then the wheels fall off in the pits. You can't have that when you competing for a championship.
Then we had Jeff racing with a bad back. I never thought he'd consider getting out of the car unless he was literally doubled over in agony. For one thing, a race car driver who is first in the points wants to stay on top of that pinnacle. For another, he wants to prove that, though he's getting older, he's still has the physical and mental toughness to compete at 100 percent. For a third, a NASCAR team that excels is "all for one and one for all" and he wanted to show his guys he had that level of commitment. Not that I think anyone doubted that but it was a statement he wanted to make.
A couple of guys went for fuel mileage - Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski - but a caution ended that strategy and I was glad. My preference is for flat out racing to the end rather than trying to nurse all-but-empty gas tanks to the finish line.
And lastly, Memorial Weekend at Charlotte is all about the troops - the pride and respect and honor we have for them - our acknowledgement of their sacrifices. NASCAR does a good job of sending this message all year long but at this special time, they go all out. My husband was a Vietnam combat medic. He always squeezed my hand tight whenever he heard helicopters beating in the sky. I felt that in my heart on Sunday at Charlotte.