Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Mashed, Smashed and Trashed at Talladega
I'm glad that's over for another few months. I know some people love super-speedway racing but it's my least favorite of all the different types of tracks on the NASCAR circuit. I don't care to see a gazillion dollars worth of wadded up race cars or cars flying through the air or cars barrel-rolling down the track (though the manufacturer's of BearBond were probably grinning ear to ear as 33 of 40 cars suffered some kind of damage). It was a wilder even than usual Talladega, probably because of the urgency of the possibility of rain coming.
I don't enjoy sitting with my heart in my mouth until we see the window net come down and know that the driver that smacked the wall hard or tumbled end over end is all right.
I get antsy when I see my favored drivers twiddling their thumbs, not because their car may not be fast enough to get to the front, but because they are stuck in a giant, three-rows-wide, 200 mile-an-hour traffic jam.
I'm not saying other people shouldn't love restrictor plate racing, just expressing my own personal point of view.
Kyle Busch echoed my opinion. He said, since he already had a win and was in the Chase, he'd rather have skipped Talladega altogether and watched the race from his living room sofa. He, and the others drivers who have a win, can afford to feel that way now - but next time NASCAR is in Alabama, the race will be part of the Chase and teams will dread the potentially negative impact it might have on their seasons.
Having said all that, congratulations to Brad for driving a flawless race, being a master at playing the dodge'em game of keeping the field behind him. We now have another two-time winner, which is four of them now. Up to a point, these guys can kick back and relax knowing they are in the Chase.
Poor Amelia, Junior's favorite car, looked like she was ready to retire to his famous wreck-filled woods by the time it was over. It was a strange day altogether for Junior but driving his car without a steering wheel was a pretty neat trick.
I say this every week but it is true again, two of our rookies, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, continue to impress. Chase lead 27 laps, en route to a top five finish, the highest by far of the Hendricks drivers. (Elliott is 10th on the Chase grid right now). Ryan pulled off a top ten. They looked like old hands slicing and dicing around the speedway.
Old Lady Luck must have it in for Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick. Whenever either of them look like they are in for a really good run, she knocks them for a loop and that continued at Talladega. I wonder what they did to piss her off so bad?
Speaking of impressive young drivers, Ty Dillon did Tony Stewart proud, bringing the 14 in at sixth. Their driver exchange was pretty slick too, getting done in approximately one minute. You could tell Tony absolutely hated getting out of that car though.
And so we're off to Kansas, where the racing is more normal and, in my humble opinion, more fun.