Monday, April 18, 2016
Flips and Dips
Well, it's been a while since we got to see Cousin Carl do a back flip. Some times, it is boring to watch one driver dominate a race but Bristol wasn't like that. There was so much going on all over the place that it held your interest....and that's sort of the story of Bristol, isn't it?
Fortunes rose and tumbled. Drivers made it to the front or at least near the front, then suffered some kind of bad luck to put them back again. All the Gibbs cars had tire issues except Carl himself. I bet he was praying under his breath, "please don't let me feel a vibration". Some drivers got caught for speeding and some had too many crew people over the wall and some let their tires go rolling out of the pit. Penalties, penalties, everywhere.
Some of the drivers who've excelled this year fell by the wayside, including Jimmie and Kyle. Meanwhile Matt Kenseth's Horrible Awful Very Bad Luck continued when he hit the wall after leading 142 laps. Poor Dale Junior got caught up right off the bat with an electronic ignition problem and went two laps down. He spent the whole race slogging to try to get his laps back but in the end, low and behold, there he was in second place!
Meanwhile, drivers we don't normally see getting great finishes were near the front. Matt DiBenedetto had tears in his eyes at the joy of coming in sixth. Trevor Bayne got a top five. Clint Bowyer came in 8th in the first sign of strength he's shown this year.
Chase Elliott came in 4th, besting his highest finish so far of 5th last week. He and Ryan Blaney are so much fun to watch. They rush in where angels fear to tread but they aren't fools about it.
It was great to see Peyton Manning at the track. Even though he went from the Colts to the Broncos, we Hoosiers will always believe he belongs to us.
Last week, Kyle Busch went viral when called out to a fan with an 18 hat on from his car. She was thrilled when she saw that it was actually him. He signed her hat as Samantha filmed the interaction, then posted it on the web. He invited her to be his guest at Bristol and she got to hang out with Sam during the race. How sweet was that for her? Gosh, that Kyle is a nice guy.
Then, going back to the garage after his wreck, he hit a fan. I don't know the details except that I flat out know he'd never hit anyone on purpose. So, the Kyle booers who had to choke down their feelings last week, got to come back and excoriate him this week. Gosh, that Kyle is an awful guy.
And so it goes in the world of NASCAR fandom. You're a hero to your supporters and a zero to your haters. Meanwhile, the drivers cry all the way to the bank and the championship!