Thursday, July 23, 2015
The Good, the So-So and the Not-So Good
First, I gotta' say that racing the trucks on the dirt at Eldora is one of the best ideas NASCAR has had since I became a fan. Now, that was a fun race! And it was great seeing two newbies (at least in the world of NASCAR) chasing each other - hell bent for election - pulling off slide jobs, pushing everyone else out of the way, crashing into the wall. In other words, doing everything they could possibly do to try to win.
Congratulations to Christopher Bell (age 20) and Bobby Pierce (age 18) for putting on a hell of a show that ended in a green/white/checker finish with Pierce .761 seconds behind Bell. Great going, Guys! And welcome to the new generation of NASCAR young guns. The abundance of up and coming young drivers we have now make it exciting to look toward the future of the sport.
I was not quite as thrilled with the Cup race, probably because none of my favorites were fighting for the lead most of the day. I don't dislike any of the drivers but I'm somewhat lukewarm about some of them. I haven't looked up the statistics but my perception was that we were back to the leader being almost untouchable in clean air.
Having said all that, I was happy to see Kyle win because I think it makes an almost fairy tale story for someone who missed the first eleven races to battle back against such long odds to try to get in the Chase. It's not as if NASCAR made it easy on him. Winning even one race and climbing back up to 30th in points is something I think only a few drivers could accomplish. And now he's won three, second only to Jimmie Johnson with his four wins. He's 35th in points so he has to gain five more spots. It's still not a given but I really hope he makes it.
His daring pass to get back on the lead lap was the move of the race as far as I'm concerned. And, yes, luck played a part too, as it always does,but Lady Luck often favors those who help themselves and Kyle has done that for sure.
Another Xfinity race with the Cup guys stealing the show. It ended with Austen Dillon in a snit about Denny Hamlin's driving style. I'm not a driver so I don't know the protocols of clean racing. It didn't seem to me as if Denny did anything wrong but maybe drivers have a different view of it. Not that I cared that much one way or the other which of them won. I was rooting for either Chase Elliott or Erik Jones.
Now you all come to my state for the Brickyard 400. I've been to this race twice and truthfully, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not the greatest track for watching a race. The cars are almost out of sight for much of the time. You hear the "swoosh" of them going by and then they're gone.
Still, I don't think you'd regret a trip to Indianapolis. There is something rather magnificent about the old track. There is an aura of history that you can almost feel - the pagoda, Gasoline Alley, the yard of bricks. It is sort of like Churchill Downs or Wrigley Field - it is an honor of our heritage as much as a place.