The Coliseum of Collision!

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STORY LINES FOR THIS WEEK:

1. “Cousin Carl” wins two in a row:

2.  NASCAR announces 2009 schedule:

http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2009/data/schedule.html 

3.  Logano Cup debut at Richmond in #02:

http://www.joegibbsracing.com/2008/news_nscs/08_august/080825_jl_2009.php 

4.  It’s official, Logano pilots #20 in ’09:

5.  Hall of Fame Racing looking at options:

http://www.scenedaily.com/news/articles/sprintcupseries/Hall_of_Fame_Racing_exploring_merger_or_acquisition_opportunities.html

6.  Mears to RCR #07- Bowyer to #33:

http://www.rcrracing.com/messageboards/trans/displayShortMsgRpt.asp?type=1&id=2988

7.  Kylie could be penalized:

8.  Sorenson possibly to GEM:

http://www.scenedaily.com/news/articles/sprintcupseries/Sorenson_to_replace_Carpentier_at_Gillett_Evernham_in_09.html

9.  Red Bull exploring 3rd team:

http://nascar.speedtv.com/article/jensen-food-city-500-blog1/

 

Just when everyone was thinkin’ that TLVW (aka ol Kylie Busch) was gonna run away with the championship, Carl Edwards gets hot again!  But I may add, not as hot as ol Kylie was after the race!!!!  See it appears that TLVW can run deep into the turn and bump you out of the way, get into your door and crash you, get into your quarter panel and spin you, but he really doesn’t like someone to race him in the same fashion!!!  It appears that ol Kylie is gonna have to write a check and loose a few points for his shenanigans after the checkerd flag fell.  I guess NASCAR doesn’t take lightly to bumpin’ and bangin’ after the race is over!!  This reporter suggests that ol Kylie purchase some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and keep it in his race car!!!   That will help to heal his “CHAPPED BUTTOCKS” when he looses a race!!!!

 

Now that Bristol has been reconfigured to a progressive banking, and the running of the COT, there is more side-by-side racing and less beating and banging. It is still a very fast paced race, with laps turning in the low 16 seconds.  But it is a race, not a destuction derby!!!  The tempers still flare and the feelings still get hurt!  As Larry Mc and DW say, “you need to leave your feelings and your temper at the front gate”!! 

 

With just two races left til the Chase begins, the race teams are feeling the heat.  With positions 6-14 separated by just a few points, those teams really have to step up their game a few notches to secure a spot in the Chase!!  It is time to throw caution to the wind!  If you got something for ’em, it is time to let the big dog eat!!!!   

Michigan 400

169 

Story Lines This Week:

1.  Surprise, Edwards wins:  www.nascar.com

2.  Kylie cinches top spot in Chase: www.jayski.com

3.  2009 schedule realignment:

  http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/official/08/19/2009.schedules/index.html

4.  Subway moves to #99 Edwards:

     http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=447449

5.  Newman to drive #39, not #4:

      http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/cup/08/19/rnewman.tstewart.car.number/index.html

6. David Ragan finishes a career best third:

7.  Joey Logano will make a few Cup starts this year:

   http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/cup/08/18/jlogano.tstewart.jgr.announcement/index.html

8.  Compare Joey Logano to Casey Atwood:

  http://nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=62124

9. Four out of top five, Rousch/Fenway Fords:

  

This weekend it was The Carl Edwards Show!!  It is not often that there is a sweep in both the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series races, but it happened at Michigan last weekend.  This is one of the tracks where the Fords dominate, Roush/Fenway Racing in particular!!!  This is also one of the tracks where fuel mileage and long green flag runs always plays a big part in the deciding the winner!!  Remember the June race where Dale Jr. won  on fuel mileage?????  Well, not this time!  Fuel mileage was not a factor in the race outcome.   It was strictly hard racing for 400 miles.

 

 

Is Joey Logano the real deal?  He is been touted as the next “rising star” in NASCAR!!  He might be just that, time will tell.  But a few years ago I remember another “rising star” that every car owner was salavating over, Casey Atwood.  He was a 19 year old phenom that was tearing up the tracks around Nashville.  Ray Evernham signed him to drive the # 19 Dodge to start his entrance into team ownership.  He lasted not quite 2 seasons and slipped into obscurity!!!  We shall see if Joey can handle all the pressure that goes with the high profile NASCAR race car driver’s obligations.

Once again, you didn’t have to look it up ’cause I already did!!!

The Glen

MVC-007F 

The Story Lines:

1.  Ol Kylie wins yet another race!  www.nascar.com

2.  Big crash causes a 45 minute Red Flag:  www.jayski.com

3.  Possible date swaps between Calif., Atlanta, and Talladega:

     www.jayski.com/pages/2009cup_sched.html  

4.  Newman’s plans will be announced Friday: 

    http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/news/story?id=3533186

5.  Logano to make Cup debut at Richmond:

    www.captainthunderracing.com 

6. Rain washes out qualifying again:

NASCAR visited the beautiful surroundings of Watkins Glen, N.Y., located in the finger lakes region of western ( upstate) New York.  The track was the former home of the U. S. Grand Prix ( Formula One Racing).   This is the second race of the season on a road course for NASCAR.  The differences between Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen are  many.  Watkins Glen is a higher speed road course with only a little elevation change, and RAIN!!!  The track is a few feet wider and that does allow for a bit more passing than Infineon Raceway.

 

Road courses offer a different strategy in racing.  Instead of calculating how far you can go in a fuel run, road couses dictate that you work backwards.  These two races, Infineon and Watkins Glen, are shorter in duration, typically 200 miles.  So as a crew chief you work backwards from the last lap and schedule your pit stops at the first opportunity that will alllow you to get to the end on fuel and tires!!  Having that information will make you understand just how easy it is to make a mistake in your pit strategy!  Therein lies what Tony Eury, Jr. had to deal with during the race Sunday.  He kept Dale Jr. out too long and that strategy totally backfired on the #88 crew chief!!

 

Road courses are not known for huge crashes.  However, Sunday there was a big crash with ten laps to go that caused a 45 minute Red Flag delay.  Coming out of turn 11 Michael McDowell ran David Gillilland out wide and into the fence.  Gillilland hit the fence and bounced back out on the track right in front of Bobby LaBonte.  Labonte T-boned Gilliland and the whole race track got cluttered with trashed out cars.  Forty-five minutes later the  race was restarted and TLVW, aka ol Kylie Busch, was leading the race.  Once again nobody had any thing for TLVW and he posted his eighth win in Cup this year!! 

 

 Just remember, last year Jeff Gordon ran away with the points lead but was unable to close the deal with the championship.  So don’t be too quick to give the championship to Mr. Las Vegas Weasel yet!!!!

Rain, Fuel, and Pocono

086 

Story lines:

1.  Pocono History :

2.  Track Design:

3.  Fuel Strategy:

5.  Newman says he has made his decision.  www.jayski.com

6.  Reflections on Indy:  www.nascar.com

7.  Crunch time for the Chase:

 

Pocono is the last race track to be independently owned.  The track was the idea of Drs. Joe amd Rose Mattioli of the Philadelphia area.  Back in 1952 Joe and Rose met at Temple University. Joe was going through Dental School and Rose later became a Podiatrist.  In 1960 they purchased some land in the Pocono Mountains of Pa. with the thought of bringing racing to the New York-Philadelphia area. 

The first track was a 3/4 mile track on site, but by 1971 the track was rebuilt to be a 2 1/2 mile tri-oval.  The track was designed by former Indy 500 winner, Roger Ward.  There a three very distinctive turns and the longest straight way on the NASCAR circuit.  Turn #1 is modeled after the now defunct Trenton Speedway in NJ with a banking of 14 degrees, the Champ Cars used to race there in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.  Turn #2 is modeled after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a banking of 9 degrees.  And finally, turn #3 is modeled after The Milwaukee Mile with  banking of 6 degrees.

Notable NASCAR firsts at Pocono:

1.  Richard Petty wins inaugural race in 1974.

2  1986, Tim Richmond wins after recovering from an early crash to beat Ricky Rudd and Geoff Bodine in a photo finish.

3.  1988, Bobby Allison suffers a career ending injury in a first lap crash getting T-boned by by #63 Jocko Maggiacomb.

4.  1999, Bobby Labonte sweeps both races.

5.  2000, Jeremy Mayfield knocks the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. out of the way to win the race. 

6.  2006, Rookie Denny Hamlin sweeps both races.

 

Once again rain played an integral part of the race weekend.  Qualifying was completed on Friday, but Saturday’s practice was completely washed out.  So when the race started, it was the first time that the drivers were in the cars since Friday afternoon.  The drivers made it all the way to the tunnel turn, turn# 2, before there was a wreck!!  Joe Nemechek got under and into Kevin Harvick turning both of the cars around.  Fortunately, nobody got in the retaining wall.  This reporter will admit that ol “Happy ” Harvick really got “up on the wheel” and kept it off the wall!!  It looked a liitle like the race a few weeks ago at “Smoke”‘s track in Ohio where they were sideways slinging dirt everywhere!!!  That race was the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway that many Cup drivers participated to raise money for The Victory Junction Gang Camp.

 

The race was relatively incident free except for when Menard tangled with Nemechek about mid-race.  Shortly thereafter with 69 laps to go, the rains came.  The rain mainly fell back on the tunnel turn, but NASCAR threw the Red Flag. The delay was fairly short and the NASCAR officials got the track dried and the race was restarted. 

 

Now the crew chiefs had to formulate their fuel strategy.  Could they make it on one more stop or do they have to make two???  The calculators were a smokin’, the tension and excitement was escalating!  As the laps were winding down there was many strategies that were unfolding.  Some teams waited til their pit window opened up, some short pitted, and some were rolling the dice staying out to the end!  Which strategy would be the winning one?

 

Carl Edwards’ crew chief elected to keep him out, hoping that they had enough fuel to go to the end.  It worked!!!  Edwards held off the rest of the field.  A few of the competitors, Dale Jr. included ran out of fuel coming off turn 4.  A slight miscalculation that caused them eight places in the finish!  Remember that I said that Harvick was involved in the first lap spin, he came all the way back and finished fourth today!!

 

With just five races left until the Chase begins, the drivers and the the teams are feeling the pressure.  It is crunch time!  For those on the outside, it is time to make your move to the front!  For those in positions 6-12, you have to solidify your efforts and your position in the standings.  Consistency is key to making The Chase!

 

Finally, both NASCAR and Goodyear have publically apologized to the fans and the race teams for really missing the tire setup last week at Indy.  It is this reporter’s opinion that, in this day and age of technology, it is almost impossible to think that the tire compound was so far off!!!  With all the research that was done prior to emplementing the new car, both agencies should have known the characteristics of the car and the associated tire wear tendencies.

 

You didn’t have to look it up, ’cause I aready did!!!!!