Tuesday, June 27, 2017
I swear, if Danica doesn't have the worst luck of anyone in NASCAR... She can be going along minding her own business and blam, someone from out of nowhere smacks her. It isn't always the other guy's fault either. Sometimes, it just fate's fault. And it seems like her wrecks are rarely little fender benders, several of them have been seriously hard crashes. I root for her in every race and will continue to do so but damn, come on, Luck, give the girl a break!
As far as the rest of the race goes, I really like road courses, not a steady diet of them, of course. I think one more per season would be just about right. I like the left turns and right turns and ups and downs and the close quarters. I enjoy how many different strategies are at play in one race. I heard someone on t.v. say that we wouldn't have any more fuel mileage races at Sonoma because of stage racing. They said from now on, it would be more about tires. But Sunday, almost came down to fuel mileage. At least some teams were sweating whether they had enough to make it to the end including the winner, Kevin Harvick. So much for that theory. I like races in which tires fall off. There's more suspense when crew chiefs have to decide between tires and track position and driver's have to consider how they manage their tires. .
It was an odd race for me because I wasn't feeling well and laid down for a nap after the first stage (another stage win for Truex!) My dvr isn't working so I couldn't record it. I went back in the kitchen just in time to hear that Jimmie had won the second stage.....and then, that was just about the end of him!
I was happy to see Harvick win. I prefer to see all the past champions in the play-offs. We know they are the top drivers and barring, a catastrophic season, they deserve to be there. Staying in that vein, it is surely time for Kyle Busch to win. That would be true of all the Gibbs drivers but Kyle is the one who has been the most competitive so far this year.
Many of us have learned a new word in the last few weeks. I spent many years working for local government so I was familiary with the word "encumber". It is when you have money in the budget but there is a block on it because it's meant for a particular expenditure. For instance, you might encumber funds to buy cars when the new models come out. I'd never heard that term in any other context until NASCAR "encumbered" Joey's win at Richmond. Yes, the win is there and he gets credit for it in the record book but he can't use it as his entry into the Chase. So, there we go - NASCAR is an educational sport!
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
I'm sorry I've neglected this blog for so long. I had some health issues going on that left me with zero energy. I watched all the races, of course, I'd almost have to be on my death bed not to do that. I did have enough energy to jump up and down when Jimmie won his third race, the most for any driver this year!
Looking back at a month of racing that I didn't write about, it all looks more like a collage than a straight line. There were some great last laps shoot-outs. Some of the best cars racing their way from the back to the front and then having to do it again. Spectacular slide jobs.
I hear some fans say they think the racing is boring and it is more likely to have slow spots when you watch the entire race. Not every minute of every race is going to be thrilling. That would be like riding a roller-coaster for four straight hours. You'd be begging to get off before it was over
You watch the whole race but you pick out the best parts for you memory bank - chaotic restarts, fiery crashes, bumping and fighting for the lead, tricky moves that take the air off your competitor's car to slow them down just enough to get an advantage. changing lanes back and forth to keep the field behind you.
I know I've said this before but I think I will always remember 2017 as the season of the New Kids on the Block. At first, it seemed that the experienced drivers always out-smarted the younger ones but it's been so much fun to watch them learn the tricks of the trade and that doesn't happen so much anymore. So far, we've had Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Austen Dillon, Ryan Blaney won their first Cup race....and can Chase Elliott be far behind?
I was actually rooting for Chase this week just so he could be a part of that group. On the other hand, Kyle Larson has been my favorite of the Junior Varsity Team ever since he came to Cup, so that was okay too. I heard some announcer say that Kyle Larson was the "new Jimmie Johnson". I don't like to compare people to other people. Everyone deserves their own credit, not being the "new" someone else. Having said that though, it would't surprise me to see Kyle L stack up superior statistics as the years go on. He's that good.
Circumstances could change but so far, we have to crown Martin Truex, Jr., the King of stage racing. Winners have come from teams that haven't been in Victory Lane in a while. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. for Jack Roush. Austen Dillon for Richard Childress, Ryan Blaney for the Wood Brothers. . It's almost unbelievable that we're this far into the season and Gibbs is winless.
Other than Chase, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez have both been knocking at the door. Will either of them get their first trophy in 2017?
I had a bad scare this week. One of my friends, who works for Lowe's, said the rumor mill at work was saying that Lowe's wasn't going to renew their contract with Hendrick and Jimmie, that they might be pulling out of NASCAR altogether. Thank God, that wasn't true as Lowe's, Hendrick and Jimmie signed a new three-year extension.
Another rumor I've heard is that Brad Keselowski might be going to Hendrick to take Junior's place. I have no idea if there is any merit to this or not but if you remember, Keselowski was headed to Hendrick until Mark Martin decided to race another year. I was really upset at the time. It seemed to me Mark was playing Dog in the Manger. But Keselowski certainly landed on his feet with Penske. He seems to get along well with Joey. He'd probably be better off to stay right where he is.
If this would happen though, who would take Brad's spot at Penske? I've heard Ryan Blaney so that would leave a ride open for the Wood Brothers.
And, of course, there are the ever-present NASCAR complaints about driver behavior. Usually, if it is a driver you like, you're prepared to overlook an occasional boorish after-race reaction a la Kyle Busch after losing a hard-fought contest in which he looked to be the class of the field. This has been the story of Kyle's season so far.He's led laps and come close but so far, no cigar.Who wouldn't be disgruntled?
And then, Danica lashed out at booing fans You go, Girl - you've got as much right to tell them what you think as they have to tell you what they think by booing.
All the drivers are different. Myself, I prefer the stiletto approach to the blunt force instrument but mostly I'm glad the personalities in NASCAR are so different. Who would want 43 little clones of one another running around the track. How boring would that be?.
Next we're off to California for some road racing which offers ups and downs and curves in both direction, completely than what we're used to. Viva La Difference!