The Winds of Fate

Race cars 004 

THE STORY LINES:

1.   JIMMIE JOHNSON WINS @ KANSAS:

2.   WALTRIP COULD ADD AMBROSE? (SceneDaily.com)

3.   ALMENDINGER IS OUT OF #84 NEXT WEEK: (NASCAR.com)

4.   STANTON BARRETT TO IRL: (SceneDaily.com)

5.   MIKE WALLACE TO DRIVE #33 FOR RCR @ TALLADEGA: (RCR PR)

6.   PAUL NEWMAN PASSES AWAY: (ABC News)

7.   PAUL MENARD MOVES TO YATES RACING: (AP)

8.   KYLE PETTY OUT OF #45? (Winston-Salem Journal)

9.   DEI STRUGGLING TO FIND SPONSORSHIP:

10.  ARMY MOVES TO #39 STEWART-HAAS CHEVY: (captainthunderracing.com)

“The three horse race” just distanced themselves a little further from the pack Sunday.  It appears the Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, and Greg Bifle teams are turning up the heat on the rest of the “Chasers”!!  Sunday they all, in their own way, showed dominance during the Kansas race.  It was an extremely exciting final three laps!!  With Johnson leading the race, Edwards made up about ten car lengths down the back stretch of the last lap.  Going into turn three Edwards drove it so deep and blew by Johnson by approximately 3 car lengths, but couldn’t keep his Ford off the outside retaining wall.  Edwards just hit it hard enough to slow his momentum and Johnson went back by him as they exited turn 4 heading to the finish line!!!  What a finish to the race!!!!

 

Several driver changes were announced or hinted.  A. J. Almendinger has been released from the #84 Red Bull Racing Toyota.  The team announced that Mike Skinner and Scott Speed will share ther ride for the rest of 2008.  Next year Scott Speed, the former Formula 1 and possibly new ARCA champ, will be the new pilot of that ride.  Paul Menard will take his Daddy’s money, Menard’s Home Improvement Stores, and leave DEI for Yates Racing.  Speaking of DEI, the Army sponsorship is leaving and moving over to the #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Ryan Newman Chevy.  That leaves DEI in a quandry over sponsorship money!!!  The #8 and #15  have no sponsorhip money, likewise the #01 has only a 12 race deal.  There is likely a change of driver for the #45 Petty Dodge.  It appears that there is a power stuggle going on in that organization!  VP of Operations, Robby Loomis, is intimating that Kyle Petty has driven his last race in the #45 Petty Dodge.  However, Kyle doesn’t seem to be going along with that decision!!  Lastly, there is a rumor flowing through the garage that Michael Waltrip Racing may be interested in adding Marcos Ambrose and his sponsor Little Debbie’s to his stable.

 

In conclusion, this reporter would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the passing of Paul Newman.  Not only was Paul Newman an extrordinary actor, father, husband, entrepenuer, and philanthropist; he was an excellent race car driver in his own right and CART/IRL car owner.  To this reporter, there were several characters he portrayed that were memorable!  Newman played the title character in “Cool Hand Luke” and the phrase that resonates in my mind is “what we have here is a failure to communicate“!!!!!  His role in “The Hustler” and reprised again in “The Color of Money” were classic!!  Lastly his two pictures with Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, were classic Paul Newman!!!!Newman started the company, Newman’s Own, giving all the profits to charity!!! 

 

He was intrumental in starting “The Hole In The Wall Gang”, a non-profit camp for terminally ill children.  He gave to charity tens of millions of dollars in his latter years!  The Hole In Wall Gang idea was influential to Kyle and Patti Petty in forming THE VICTORY JUNCTION GANG CAMP.

Go rest high on that mountain, Paul Newman, your work here on earth in done!!

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock…..

150 

STORY LINES:

1.  BIFLE WINS TWO IN A ROW:

2.  ALMINDINGER OUT OF #84 ON 2009: (ESPN Sports)

3.  MAYFIELD TEST #42 @ LOWES: (scenedaily)

4.  BUSCH IS “DEAD” LAST- 210 POINTS OUT OF LEAD:

5.  KESELOWSKI MAKES CUP DEBUT @ LOWES IN #25 GODADY.COM: (hendrick motorsports)

6.  ROBBY GORDON AND DEI MERGER??? (winston-journal)

7.  WALTRIP COULD ADD A 4TH TEAM:

Could we be seeing another repeat of last year’s Chase??  Remember last year when Jimmie Johnson won 4 of the 10 Chase races.  Well, Greg Bifle has won the first two  back-to-back!!!!  Bifle is starting to show the same kind of dominance that Jimmie Johnson’s team showed last year!!  He has come from the back of the pack to now be considered a favorite!!  The Rousch-Fenway 3M #16 Ford Fusion has really stepped up their game when it counts!  The first two races have been on one mile tracks, however vastly different in their configuration.  Louden is a FLAT one mile track, unlike Dover which is a highly banked, extremely fast, and a self-cleaning, racing facility!!!  It would appear to this reporter that the #16 3M teams has their one mile program where it needs to be.  However, do they have the rest of their program fine tuned to the caliber needed to take the championship home!!!!  Stay tuned for eight more weekends!!!!

 

The race for the Chase is slowly “thining out the herd”!  It is this reporter’s view that the race has narrowed to nine teams now that have a reasonable chance to capture the championship this year.  It appears that the #18 M&M’s JGR team is facing “extinction”!    It is also this reporter’s opinion that the #11 FedEx JGR team is on the “endangered species” list!  Likewise, the #17 Dewalt Rousch-Fenway team is closely following the previously mentioned teams! All three teams NEED  to run exceptionally strong in the final 8 races to have a remote chance to win the championship.  In fact, it is time for the “true contenders” to separate themselves from the “pretenders”!! 

 

If you got something for ’em, NOW is the time you got to let the “BIG DOG EAT”!!!!!

THE CHASE STANDINGS:

1.  EDWARDS

2.  JOHNSON-10

     BIFLE-10

4.  BURTON-82

5.  HARVICK-101

6.  BOWYER-106

7.  STEWART-113

8.  GORDON-118

9.  EARNHARDT-129

10. KENSETH-167

11. HAMLIN-193

12. BUSCH-210

 

This week is Kansas and more will face elimination!!!!  Who will prevail???  Who will fail???? 

 

What do you think?

 

GETCHA FOUR FRESH GOODYEARS, A FULL TANK OF SUNOCO FUEL, A LITTLE WEDGE, AND MAYBE A SPRING RUBBER.  BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY…….PULL THOSE BELTS TIGHT ONE MORE TIME, AND LET’S GO RACIN’ BOYS!!!!!

Louden

171

The Story lines:

1.  Greg Bifle wins at Louden!

2.  Busch falls to 8th place in the Chase:( jayski.com)

3.  Jeff Foxworthy and 20th Century Fox TV combine for an animated NASCAR Show:

4.  Ricky Carmichael attempts Talladega ARCA race:  (Hartford Currant)

5.  Carpentier is a free agent: (scenedaily.com)

6.  Penalities over Truck race FISTICUFFS: (jayski.com)

7.  Jay Freye stays with Red Bull Racing: (Yahoo Sports)

 

One race does not a Chase make, but one race has drastically changed the “running order”!!  The points leader and winner of the most races in the season had his “MULLIGAN”!!  Busch suffered a mechanical failure of his sway bar bolt and the results was a TOTALLY ILL handling race car!!  So ill handling that he lost control, spun out all by himself, and collected up two other race cars in the melee.  That mechanical failure cost ol Kylie SEVEN positions in the Chase, he fell from the lead to 8th place after just the first race of the Chase.

 

On the other hand, Greg Bifle reversed his fortunes in just one race.  He now becomes one of the top four in the Chase!!  However, this is again only the first race of the ten race Chase!!  Don’t start counting your chickens……. you know!!  But once again, like last year, the year long dominating team is suffering under the pressure.  We do remember the Hendrick Motorsports Dupont #24 Chey last year, right???????  Need I say more?

 

While I am thinking of it.  If you missed the Craftsman Truck race last Saturday, you missed a really exciting event at the end of the race!!  It looked like a late Saturday night outside your local tavern ( The Red Carpet @ Cedar & Shields), or in the pits after your local short track race, or for that fact in the  Eastern Airlines parking lot at Atlanta after flying with a KING-SIZED JERK!!!!!   David Starr  had systematically gotten into three different drivers and stuck them all in the  turn 3 wall.  “But the straw that might have broken someone’s nose” was when Starr stuck Tood Bodine in to the wall near the end of the race!!!  When the race concluded, Bodine gave Starr a good “push” back to the pits then separated himself from the tension.  But you should of seen the crewmen from all three crashed trucks decend upon Starr and this pit crew!!!  There were haymakers, belly whoppers, and nose-crashers being thrown!!  IT WAS GREAT FOR THE RATINGS!!!!!!  After all, it was just men handling things in a man’s way!!

This week’s race is at “The Monster Mile” at Dover.   It is Bristol on steriods, to say the least.  It should produce some very exciting racing, unfortunately I will be in Honolulu and won’t see the race til l get back home.  Oh well, someone has to be in Honolulu!!!!!

The Chase Begins

Img2720 

THIS WEEKS STORY LINES:

 

1.  JIMMIE JOHNSON  WINS AT RICHMOND: ( jayski Richmond results)

2.  JOEY LOGANO MAKES SECOND ATTEMP AT CUP DEBUT: ( nascar.com)

3.  GILLETTE-EVERNHAM SUES ROBBY GORDON: ( Winston-Salem Journal)

4.  SCOTT SPEED TESTING WITH RED BULL RACING:( www.jayski.com )

5.  RED BULL RACING POSSIBLY WITH 3 TEAMS: ( espn.tv )

6.  JAY FREYE STILL IN LIMBO: ( espn.tv )

7.  DODGE NOT TO SUPPORT THE TRUCK SERIES: ( www.jayski.com )

8.  NATIONWIDE SERIES TESTS COT AT RICHMOND: ( Scenedaily.com )

 

The first 26 races have been ran and the contenders for the Chase are set in stone!!!  The scores have been adjusted for the winning bonus points and the REAL race is about to begin!!  From the outside looking in, one might view this championship as a three horse race between TLVW, aka Kylie Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Cousin Carl, aka Carl Edwards.  But don’t be fooled, my friends, there are TWELVE capable teams that can take this championship home!! 

 

There was much hype and anticipation before the season started about the Henrick Motorsports Dale Jr. #88 AMP/NATIONAL GUARD/MOUNTAIN DEW team!  They quickly came out of the box and won the first two races at Speedweeks in Daytona.  They were very consistant in their finishes through the first 20 races.  Although they only won one race, they were a top 5 team and every week.  However since that win at Michigan, the #88 team has experienced some bad finishes resulting from some bad decisions.  Does the #88 team have what it takes to wrestle the top spot away and take the trophy home after Homestead????

 

The Joe Gibbs Home Depot #20 is lurking back in eighth place and has had a VERY sub-par year!!  They have yet to post a victory this season!  That team was a dominating team in the very early part of the season leading lots of laps, but couldn’t close the deal and bring a win home.  Has the magic vanished with Zippy and THE SMOKER, aka Tony Stewart?????  Can they gather it up and “win one for the Gipper”?????

 

What about the #24 Dupont Chevy????  They too have fallen on hard times!!!  They have not been to the winners circle in 2008.  Does La Tarte and Gordon have anything for the three horse team at the top?? 

 

Well these and many more questions are about to be answered in the next ten races, my friends!!  This is where the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders!!  This is where you see the talent and desire come together to lead them to their goal…………The Sprint Cup Trophy!!!!  

COMMENTARY:

As the picture above shows, the sun is starting to set in the West.  It is time to dig down deep and see if you got anything for the leaders!  The  twelve race teams in the Chase have got to go to the front NOW, if they can!!!  After twenty- six weeks of the week in and week out grind of BIG TIME RACIN’, this is where we see which team has what it takes to get it done!!  Will the Joe Gibbs #18 Toyota prevail?  Can the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy continue to add to their momentum?  Can the #99 Office Depot Ford continue in their winning ways?  Or will a spoiler like the #88 AMP/National Guard/ Mountain Dew Chevy driven by JR be the Sprint Cup Champion??  Could a really long shot get hot and steal the championship away from the favorites??? 

 These questions and many more are about to be answered in the next ten weeks!!

So pull those belts tight, make sure that the steering wheel is on straight, getcha four fresh Goodyears, a full tank of that Sunoco fuel, step on the loud pedal, let the big dawg eat, AND LET’S GO RACIN’ BOYS!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

And Then There Was One!

108

STORY LINES FOR THIS WEEK:

1.  JOHNSON DOMINATES AT CALIFORNIA:

2.  WIN TOTALS; BUSCH-6, EDWARDS-6, JOHNSON-3:

3.  STREMME TO THE #12 PENSKE DODGE:

4. FRANCHITTI TO GANASSI IRL #10 TARGET TEAM:

5.  NASCAR NEW DRUG TESTING POLICY:

6.  UPS TO MOVE OVER TO #6 ROUSCH/FENWAY FORD:

7.  Jay Freye offered VP/Gen Mgr with Stewart-Haas Racing

8.  Richmond Entry List:    

 

IT IS CRUNCH TIME!!! 

 

It is one to go and the race teams that are on the bubble are REALLY feeling the presure to solidify their positions in the Chase.  One of the teams that is serving notice is the #48 Lowes team.  Jimmie Johnson and team thoroughly dominated the entire race at The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, previously known as The California Speedway.  It appears that after Indy, they are hitting on all eight cylinders.  Johnson has been in the top five in almost every race since then, with the exception of one race that is.  Also the #99 Office Depot team is finding their stride once again like they did in the beginning of the season.  The runaway that the ol Las Vegas Wasel, commonly referred to as TLVW,  had going in the middle of the season has turned into a possible three horse race.  Although TLVW has had an unbelievable year in all three divisions of NASCAR, he has some serious competition just in time for the Chase.  For a while it looked like a foregone conclusion that TLVW would run away and hide with the championship, but both the #48 and #99 teams have come to life!!  That should make for some great racing, and good TV ratings I might add, for the Chase!  This reporter hopes that the championship is decided on the last lap at Homestead as it was with the very first season of the Chase.  That makes for great journalism and fantastic TV viewing!!!

 

There are a couple of sleeping giants that need to really have a great race at Richmond this Saturday night to secure their  place in the Chase.  Positons 6-14 in the NASCAR standings are still extremely tight and their finish at Richmond will either put them in or eliminate them from the Chase.  David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, and Kevin Harvick come to mind as teams that have to race the wheels off of their respective hot rods to get in the BIG SHOW!!!  Can we say PRESSURE?  The Rock and Roll 4oo @ Richmond International Raceway this Saturday night ought to be one whale of a show with may storylines unfolding. 

 

Richmond is short track on steroids!  It has all excitement of a short track race with high speed dessert!!  There is bumping and banging along side with side-by-side racing.    There is a special area there for the drivers to leave their  feelings and their anger before they get into the pitts!!!  But make no mistake, there will be drivers with their feelings hurt and their tempers a flaring when they leave the track Saturday night!!!That is exactly why it is a true fan delight and there won’t be an empty seat at the Henrico County Fairgrounds!!!   

 

A most news worthy items came of NASCAR out this week.  NASCAR is going to finally change their drug testing policy!!  It is about time that they came to the 21st century!  Especially inlght of Tyler Walker’s confession of SHOOTING UP HEROIN  before a few races in the truck series last year!!!  NASCAR CAN NOT HAVE THAT BEHAVIOR IN A SPORT  WHERE A MISTAKE CAN KILL YOU AS WELL AS THOSE AROUND YOU!!!!! 

 

Some of you folks are possibly trying to corelate the picture I have chosen to NASCAR and the race at California Sunday.  Well, the picture is of Times Square in NYC and the banquet at the end of the season is at The Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.  Only the top twelve will see these sights, since they are the only invitees to the banquet.  So you see, it is evey Cup driver’s desire to see the sights of NYC in December!!!

 

Unfortunately I will be “in the unfriendly skies” flying to Seattle Saturday evening, so I will miss the race live.  Thank God for DVR’s!!!!!!