Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mother Nature Goes Hormonal in Michigan!




Bitching, bitching, bitching on the Sirius NASCAR channel. They called it too soon; they didn't call it soon enough. As always, NASCAR was damned if they did and damned if they didn't. I don't know what more people expect. They tried to run as much of the race as possible. As it was, they put almost 6 hours into it. The forecast didn't look any better if they'd waited to try again. At any rate, Michigan doesn't have lights and when the final drenching downpour came, they probably couldn't have got the track dried before dark even if it had stopped (which it didn't). And the forecast was no better for Monday. My God, some teams had two inches of water in their haulers! Fans were sloshing through the mud to get to cars that were stuck as it was.

Be thankful for the Air Titans. Without them, we wouldn't have gotten to halfway and a completed race. What a magnificent piece of technology those machines are.

Congratulations to Kurt Busch and Tony Gibson and the 41 team. They put themselves in position and when the red flag flew to end the race, they were the winners. And yes a rain-shortened race counts for just as much as any other. You still have to be up front to collect the trophy. Your crew chief has to figure the strategy right to make that happen.

I'll admit that my heart was with Kyle Larson. I was hoping Mother Nature would make him the winner but he was three laps shy on gas. That's the risk you take when you play the weather game.

I don't think this race portended too much for the future. The usual suspects ended up in front - Kurt, Martin, Junior - even with all the mixa-moxa (my mother's term) that occurred during the race. Jimmie and Kevin suffered some bad luck but you'll have that sometimes in big time auto sports. It won't hurt them any in the long haul.

Kyle may still have the smallest hope of making the Chase if everything goes perfect from here on out but if I was going to bet, someone would have to give me some pretty high odds.

He did win the Xfinity race though and I was glad to see him back at the top of his form. I will only give him the benefit of one race though. Starting next week, I'll be back with my incessant complaining about Cup drivers snagging the wins from Xfinity regulars.

I'm sorry but I just find it much more satisfying to see young Cole Custer win the truck race at Gateway than to see Kyle or Kevin or Joey or Brad hoisting yet another Xfinity trophy.

But, we'll see, won't we, what kind of audience this coming weekend's stand-alone Xfinity series race and Camping World Truck race garner without any Cup stars? If the turnout/viewership is dismal, then I guess I'll have to bow in the admission that their presence is required to draw a crowd.

Speaking of bitching, I heard some about Danica in the booth for the Xfinity race. Myself, I enjoyed her commentary and perspective just as I have Clint's and Kevin's and Brad's and Jeff's. She disagrees with me, incidentally, about Cup drivers in the Xfinity series, believing it is a benefit to young drivers to test themselves against the best. All I know is that we always say that winning is what it's all about in NASCAR and, if not for Kyle, Chase Elliott would have been standing in Victory Lane holding a trophy.