A Total Team Effort!

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THE STORY LINES:

1.  RAIN FOR 10TH TIME CANCELS QUALIFYING:

2.  EDWARDS WINS @ ATLANTA:

3.  LOGANO MAKES ANOTHER CUP ATTEMPT @ TEXAS:

4.  MARTIN IN HMS #5 CHEVY SOONER? (ESPN)

5.  WOOD BROS. AND HALL OF FAME RACING MERGE? (winston salem journal)

6.  KYLE PETTY OUT OF PETTY RACING?  (daly planet) (ESPN)

7.  LATEST ON GM-CHRYSLER MERGER: (winston salem journal)

8.  RED BULL REPRIMANDS SOME-FIRES OTHERS: (ESPN)

9.  MAX PAPIS AND GERMAIN RACING ’09 CUP SEASON: (serius speedway)(jayski#13 team pic)

10. TESTING RULES TO CHANGE IN ’09: (winston salem journal)

11. EXCELLENT STATISTICS PAGE: (racing-reference.com

12. NASCAR NIXES GEM’S MOVE TO TOYOTA: (winston salem journal)

13. DW ON RAIN AND QUALIFYING, NEW IDEA!: (allwaltrip.com)

14. MAYFIELD TO BUY INTO BILLY BALLEW TRUCK TEAM: (serius radio interview)

 

 

Rain cancels qualifying for the 10th time this season.  For the third week in a row, Jimmie Johnson lined up on the pole.  The rain outs gives the #48 Lowes Chevy a couple of important advantages.  The first advantage is obvious, he sits on the pole for the race.  The second advantage, and possibly even more importantly, is he gets to pick first in the pit selections!!!  That is a big plus when it comes to getting into your pit box!!

The race was a typical Atlanta race, high speed and action all day long. But a late yellow flag gives Carl Edwards the opportunity to pass the leader, Denny Hammlin on the restart.   Carl Edwards wins for the seventh time this season, and the 14th in his short career.  Unfortunately, the #48 Lowes Chevy pits to get “Four Fresh Goodyears” and slices his way through the field to finish second, “truly raining on Edward’s parade”!!!  Edwards only gained slightly in the points column on Jimmie Johnson, however he did move into second place in the Chase!

 

COMMENTARY:

I know once again you are wondering how can this reporter tie in a horse drinking out of a watering hole at Cental Park in NYC and a NASCAR race in Atlanta????  Get ready ’cause I am gettin’ ready to ‘splain!!!

 

If you look again at the picture, you will see this is a one horse operation.  He is “in the pits” replenishing himself getting ready to go back out and make some money for it’s owner.  Unfortunately, he his having to resupply his “consumables” ( think fuel and tires) all by himself!!  He is losing valueable time (think track position) not having a team (think pit crew) helping him!!!  If there were a few more people to put the horse back into a revenue position, he would make more money for his owner (think win the race/Chase)!!! 

 

So again how does this fit into the NASCAR picture??  Well, Sunday in Atlanta we saw the #48 Lowes team get penalized for speeding on pit row.  That put Johnson a lap down to the field, but that didn’t get the team down.  The team stayed focused and worked hard as a team unit.  When the yellow flags fell in the very last part of the race, the team made a couple of bold decisions that put them back in the “hunt”!  With bold decisions and fortitude the Lowes #48 team put themselves in a position to finish second place!  That voided the chance for Carl Edwards to make large gains on them in the Chase points.

 

This reporter can only echo what Brad Daughtery (ABC/ESPN) said two weeks ago after Johnson’s win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  Brad then stated so boldly, “print the hats and the T-shirts ’cause Jimmie Johnson will be the THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION“!!!   There is something about this race team that comes to life in final 10 races of the season.  It is like the Vince Lombardi days with the Packers.  Everyone knew that Bart Starr was going to give the ball to Taylor and Hornug and you just had to try to stop them!!  You also knew that it would take eveything you had plus some to do that !!!!!!

 

So what we are about to witness hasn’t not happened in NASCAR since 1976-78.  In those three years a very brash young man from Timmonsville, South Carolina, named William Caleb (Cale) Yarborough drove for “a good ol boy” from Wilkes County, N.C.  That “good ol boy” from N.C. was none other than Robert Glen Johnson, Jr., better known to the racing world as Junior Johnson, a legend in his own right as a driver!!!  For those three years that duo of driver and owner was the most dominate force NASCAR! 

 

Fast forward 32 years and we have a team equally as dominating now!!!  Print the T-shirts, print the hats, and raise the flag it is a done deal!!!

ONCE AGAIN, I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO!!!!

Got Something For Johnson??

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THE STORY LINES:

 

1.   JOHNSON WINS AGAIN!

2.   QUALIFYING RAINED OUT FOR 9TH TIME:

3.   HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DOMINATES @ MARTINSVILLE:

4.   DEI AND PETTY ENTERPRISES MERGER? ( espn.com) (nascar.com)

5.   PETTY RESURRECTS #44:  (espn.com)

6.   JEFF GORDON CLOSING IN ON 20,000 LAPS LED:

7.   ROCKINGHAM RACEWAY BUILDS A “LITTLE ROCK” ON PREMISES:

8.   AMBROSE IN #47 (WAS #44 MWR) REST OF YEAR:(MWR PR)

Well folks, it happened again!  The #48 Lowes Chevy dominated the race.  Jimmie Johnson led over 330 laps of the 500 lap race, a true sign of domination.  The Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) Chevys all had a good day at the track.  Just to let you know how the HMS teams have done over the years at Martinsville, here are some facts.  Prior to Sunday, HMS  had posted 11 victories and 78 top 10’s there!!  Now make that 12 victories and 82 top 10’s!!  They have completed over 96% of all laps entered.  Jeff Gordon has posted 7 victories there alone!   They have now won 9 out of the last 12 races at Martinsville!!  HMS now have a total of 174 wins and 7 Sprint Cup Championships in NASCAR!!!!  These numbers are staggering!

 

The merger rumors are running rampant in the garage area this week.  There are talks rumored between Petty and DEI.  There are rumors of talks between Petty and Ganassi.  There are rumors that Gilette-Evernham (GEM) are leaving Dodge and heading to Toyota.  It is truely “The Silly Season”!!!  IT APPEARS THAT NOT ONLY IS “JOE THE PLUMBER” HAVING TOUGH FINANCIAL TIMES, THE CUP TEAMS ARE EQUALLY FINDING THE TIME A ROUGH GO!!!!  There appears to be  a changing of ownership coming to the garage area.  Financial partners and mergers seems to be the key to suviorship here in NASCAR!

 

COMMENTARY:

Remember the first 26 races of this season???????   Ol Kylie Busch, aka TLVW, was truly dominating the entire field each and every Sunday.  What happened??????    Everyone was singing the praises of TLVW, how he was running away with the championship lead!  Well, did everyone forget how the #48 Lowes Chevy came from the cellar last year to put the BIG WHOOP on the other 11 contenders in the Chase??????  DON’T LOOK NOW, BUT HE IS ABOUT DO REPEAT THAT SAME FEAT THIS YEAR!!!!!!! 

This reporter was one of the naysayers this year.  I repeatedly said that the #48 Lowes Chevy team could not possibly win 3 championships in a row!  After all, it had only happened once in the history of NASCAR, so that by itself shows the difficulty of that feat.  By the way, that one feat was accompolished by one William Caleb (Cale) Yorborough from 1976-1978.  But don’t look now, it is about to happen again!!!!  

 SO THE ANSWER TO THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG WOULD BE A RESOUNDING NO!!!!! 

ONCE AGAIN I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!!!

Lowe’s Results

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THE STORY LINES:

1.  JEFF BURTON WINS @ LOWE’S:

2.  ONLY NIGHT RACE IN THE CHASE:

3.  PICTURES OF HARVICK AND EDWARDS:( captainthunderracing)

4.  GM AND CHRYSLER DISCUSS MERGER: (NY Times)

5.  PETTY AND GANASSI MERGER? GEM TO TOYOTA? (winston-salem journal)

6.  ARMY IS OFFICIALLY # 39 SPONSOR: (jayski team scheme)

7.  CHASE STANDINGS: (nascar.com)

For about half of the teams Saturday night, the Sun has set on their chances of winning the Sprint Cup championship for 2008!!!  It would appear at this juncture of the Chase that it is down to quite possibly four teams only.  Quite honestly, it is Jimmie Johnson’s championship to loose.  Jeff Burton has really been performing quite well during the first half fof the Chase.  He has been flying under the radar very nicely so far.  But, his win at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday night has jumped him up into second place in Chase standings!!!  Burton must now be considered one of the remaining favorites.  “Cousin Carl” has hit upon some hard times in the last two races.  His adventures at Talladega not only landed his team a poor finish, but apparently he got to “visit the hood of the #33 KHI Nationwide car”!!!  (Check out the link in the #4 of story lines!!)  Meanwhile, “The Bif” is still performing at a very steady pace.

COMMENTARY:

This reporter still has “MAJOR HEARTBURN” with the way NASCAR handled the finish of the Talladega race!!  The rule states,” you can not advance your postion by going below the yellow line or you will be penalized”( RULE #1).”  It also states,”you can not force someone below the yellow line or you might be penalized“(RULE #2).  It also states that if you can see the CHECKERED FLAG WAVING the rules do not apply (RULE # 3). 

First and foremost, if what Tony Stewart did does not constitute forcing a competitor below the yellow  line then I don’t know what does!!  There is no arguing the fact that Regan Smith was below the yellow line, ‘ cause  both of Stewart’s left side tires were down below the yellow line and Regan Smith had a fender on Stewart’s left quarter panel (RULE #1)!!!!  So this reporter’s point is that if you are going to penalized Smith for passsing below the yellow line, you must also penalize Stewart for forcing him down there ( RULE #2)!!!!  If you are going to apply the first two rules, you must apply them fairly and consistently.  With those thoughts in mind, it would appear to this reporter that Paul Menard should be declared the winner!!!  Now if you are going to not penalize Stewart for driving below the yellow line and thusly forcing Smith below the yellow line because they can see the “CHECKERED FLAG WAVING”(RULE #3), THEN OBVIOUSLY REGAN SMITH WINS THE RACE!!!

Therein lies the crux of this reporter’s heartburn!!!!  Thank God I have an abundant supply of Prilosec in the medicine cabinet!!!  I also have a large tube of, you guessed it, “BOUDREAUX’S BUTT PASTE”!!

Sweet Home Alabama!

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THE STORY LINES:

1.   CONTROVERSIAL WIN FOR STEWART:

2.   TWENTY EIGHT (28)DIFFERENT LEADERS:

3.   ALMENDINGER IN THE #00 FOR LOWES: ( MWR PR)

4.   MANY TIRE FAILURES DURING RACE:

5.   RIGGS HAS CONTRACT IN HAND, BUT WITH WHOM?

6.   QUESTIONS REGARDING THE YELLOW LINE?

7.   TALLADEGA HISTORY:

8.   LUCK VS. SKILL:

9.   CHARGE FORWARD OR HANG BACK:

10.  IS IT ABOUT HORSEPOWER?

Yes we all have heard the song from Lynard Skynard, but you might have forgotten the lyrics.  So I will refresh your memory:

Big wheels keep on turnin’, carryin’ me home to see my kin.

Singin’ songs about the Southland, I miss my family once again and I think it’s a sin.

Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her.

Well I heard ol Neil put her down.

Well I hope Neil Young wil remember a Southern man don’t need him around, anymore!

Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue.

Sweet home Alabama, Lord I comin’ home to you.

Here I come, Alabama.

 

I know, once again you are wondering just how does Lynard Skynard, those Jacksonville, FL wild boys,  all fit with NASCAR and racing????  How can this guy tie those two widely divergent thoughts into a common theme???  Well, here I go sports fans!!!

 

Twice a year NASCAR comes to Talladega, Alabama for a game of HIGH SPEED, HIGH STAKES, CRAP SHOOT STYLE racing!!!!  With this track being the longest race track on the circuit, you drive it with loud pedal flat on the mat.  So you really do want make sure that  ” the big wheels keep on turnin'” as the first lyric of the song goes!  Historically, this race did carry some of the drivers back to see their kin.  There was the ” Alabama Gang” consisting of Bobby and Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnet, and the ageless Red Farmer.   So when NASCAR goes to Talladega, Lynard Skynard and Talladega really become one, and we sing about her!!!  Thank God for those “WILD EYED SOUTHERN BOYS of Lynard Skynard, God rest in peace the soles of those departed!!!!!

 

Tony Stewart was declared the winner yesterday in a very controversial finish.  The yellow line on the inside of the race tracks only come into play at two tracks, Daytona and Talladega.  At these two tracks the rules state that you cannot go below the yellow line to better your position.  You also cannot force someone below the yellow line.  Either of the previously mentioned offenses could get you a penalty.  This reporter will have more to say in my commentary following the column!

 

There are a few historical facts that warrant mentioning at this time.  The first race was held on Sept. 14, 1969.  The first winner was Richard Brickhouse.  Now you are saying Richard Who????  Well, when Big Bill France opened the track up for the first race many of the drivers felt that it wasn’t safe to drive that fast there yet.  So, they elected Richard Petty to be the spokesman to go to Mr. France and state their position.  To make a long story short, most of the big names loaded up their cars and went home.  Big Bill in return ran the race anyway with whatever drivers there were, many were what was later called the Busch/Nationwide Series drivers, one notable driver who raced that day was a man named Richard Childress!!   The fastest lap time ever recorded in a stock car is held be “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville”, Bill Elliott.  That speed is 212.8 mph!!!  Another interseting fact to mention is that roof flaps came about from a horrific Rusty Wallace crash at Talladega.  Finally the last piece of information to talk about is the beginnings of the restrictor plates.  That resulted from a nasty crash involving Bobby Allison.  He got turned around in the tri oval and got up into the catch fense, tore out about 100 feet of the fence and almost got up into the grandstands!!

 

COMMENTARY:

I have viewed the end of the race several times and have formed my own opinion.  It appears that Regan Smith tried to go by Stewart on the outside and Tony moved up to block him.  Then Smith moved down to the bottom to try to get around Stewart, and in fact had a fender on Tony.  Tony moved left to block him again, running Smith down below the yellow line.  Keeping in mind the rules of Daytona and Talladega, Smith had three options.  First option be a nice guy and get out of the gas, let Tony win, and loose a few more spots.  That runs counter to any racer!!!!  Second hold your line and wreck Stewart, yourself, and possibly those immediately behind you.  Again, that just doesn’t sound like a great option!  Or the last option; stay in the gas, even though you were forced to go below the yellow line, and race Stewart to the finish line.  To me that is the only decision to make!!!!  But NASCAR  didin’t see it that way.  Stewart is declared the winner and Smith is penalizied to the last place on the lead lap!!!  It is this reporter’s opinion that NASCAR has just sent the message to the drivers that may warrant more horrific wrecks!!! 

 

Last night Greg Bifle stated on NASCAR NOW, that because of that ruling, he has decied that if he is put in the position that Regan Smith was in, he will hold his line and wreck whomever is in front of him!!!  It will make for a really spectacular finish!!!

If I were a driver I would write a nice letter to the other car owners, apologizing for the cars that I am going wreck!!!  I would also tell them to send the bill to Brian France and NASCAR!!!!!