A Total Team Effort!








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


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


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!



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!!!


Rain, Fuel, and Pocono


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!!!!!