Friday, July 28, 2017
Musical Chairs and Nit-Pickery
Well, Joe Gibbs finally won one in New Hampshire with Denny Hamlin. It's hard to believe but this was their first win of the season. Of course, I was rooting for Kyle Larson as I always do when he's one of the front runners. But, oh, well, 2nd is better than 41 other drivers did. Do you think the Louden winners really eat those lobsters? I don't think I'd have the heart. I'd probably let mine go back into the ocean.
Then the next week was my home track, Indianapolis. I've been to the race three times but to be honest, I much preferred Homestead, both because of the weather and the view all the way around the track. It is Indy's history that makes it so special, not its amenities.
The Brickyard began to seem like the never ending race by the time it was over. A rain delay, the Kyle and Martin Show until they wrecked each other out and then crash, crash, crash. In the end, Kasey Kahne was the last man standing. Hurray for him! He's in the Chase! (Do we still call it the Chase?)
I'm usually pretty neutral about Kyle Busch. He's not one of my favorites but he's not one of my unfavorites either. I'll tell you though, I'm beginning to feel sorry for him. It has to be torturous to be so good in so many races yet never make it to the checkered flag first. We know he's had some of the best cars and we know how good of a driver he is but he just seems to have a black cloud following him around. I want him in the Chase so I hope he wins one of the next few.
Silly Season has arrived with a vengeance. We found out last week that Alex Bowman will be taking Junior's place in the 88 car next year. I'm glad for that. He's worked for HMS for quite a while and he did a fine job as Junior's replacement. I think he deserves the chance to pilot the 88 into the future and I'm glad Mr H. was loyal enough to give it to him.
Also Ryan Blaney will be going to Penske and Paul Menard will head over to the Wood Brothers. I think that the Blaney/Penske pairing is a match made in NASCAR heaven. Penske will have three young, aggressive drivers and I think they'll rack up a lot of wins in the next few years.
As for Paul Menard, he's always been pretty much a middle-of-the-pack driver. Is that because he's never been with a really top-notch team? We've seen what Blaney has done with the Wood Brothers car so I guess next season will tell the story.
Erik Jones will take Matt Kenseth's place at JGR. I can see the philosophy behind grabbing onto new young talent but wow, tossing away a champion seems sort of harsh, even if this hasn't been Matt's best year. It hasn't been the best year for the rest of the Gibbs team either. I haven't heard where Matt's going or if Furniture Row is going to continue with two cars or go back to one so there's still some suspense to play out.
I'm getting sort of tired of the nit-pickery that is going on in NASCAR. The cars that don't qualify because they can't get through inspection because they're a millionth of an inch too high or 10,000th of an ounce too heavy. When it comes to lasers versus humans, lasers are always going to win the precision war. Drivers getting black-flagged because they beat the leader by a 1000th of a second. Geez, just fly the green flag and let them go. I don't think Joe Gibbs should have suspended two of the 78's crewmen for arguing with the 18 crew. Nobody got hit; nobody was hurt. It was just a typical case of tempers flaring in a stressful situation. At one time, during the "boys have at it" era, that's what we said we wanted.
Now we expect the cars to be perfect and I guess we want the drivers to be perfect too. Too much perfection is boring.