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!!
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!!!!!