It would have been a very green day at Michigan. I spent much of the day in the teens, but moved to the front near the end and finished in the top five. There was some traffic I had to deal with, but there was plenty of room to maneuver.
Unfortunately, for JD...
It was the night race at Bristol. The woman was constantly watching wrecks happen in front and behind her. She kept getting out of synch with the other drivers on the track and could never get together with her team mates. It was a good day in that the car completed all the laps, but she's quite dinged up.
1. NASCAR - Switch to engines small enough that you will remove the restrictor plate. All the power in the world is moot when you have to have your pedal to the floor for a lap and a half to get to full speed and there's nothing you can do to pass because everyone always has their pedals to the floor. I would also like to see some of the aerodynamics fucked with so cars don't cut through the air quite as well. No, it is harder to get more exiting than seeing 40 cars in a 3-wide pack. HOWEVER, a whole race like that is freakin' dangerous! Allow the cars to get some space between them. I miss a trend from the mid 90's where there was a good-sized front pack, a large middle pack, and then a straggler pack. NASCAR will have to give up the ghost on packing everyone together or they're going to see most of the field continue to be knocked out in more than one wreck per race or drivers will just give up and line up in a train.
2. Mike Helton - WTF with morning announcements that basically completely screw over what people can do on the track? Decide on these rules before final practice, you idiot!
3. Drivers - Not all of them fit into one or more of these categories, but many folks do: A) Don't pitch a fit and say "I'm just going to stay in line all day," B) stop bumping folks in the corners, C) don't let you crew chief talk you into a fuel strategy at Talladega; there WILL be a wreck near the end of the race to use up the last of your fuel before the checkered flag waves.
4. Talladega - It's probably worthwhile paving over most of the grass in the infield. Make it possible for cars to escape wrecks by driving through there. Also, invest in a study to see if graduated banking can be incorporated to smooth out the transition from the corner banking to the apron. Too many times, a car at the bottom has bumped against the apron and been bounced up the track to the outside wall.
What a great week for Mark Martin. First, he signs a contract to race full-time with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2011 season. Then, he goes and wins the race in New Hampshire. Juan Pablo Montoya came so close to finally winning on an oval. The way he drove today, I certainly wouldn't have begrudged him winning.
Juan is definitely following in Smoke's footsteps of going from open wheel to being strongest at road and flat tracks. Whether it was the fact the Chase is on or that his car was just so fast, Juan was showing the aggressiveness that he's tempered since his switch from Formula 1 to NASCAR. I don't think it's going to take long for fans to see more parallels with Juan's and Dale Earnhardt's driving styles.
Hinton: Uneasy lie the crowns
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I can't stand the guy. I hate his delivery. My head aches after races from my slamming my head each time something completely wrong or lame comes out of his mouth. Weber has more interest in the emotional, soap opera dramas that reporters concoct for headlines to the actual competition occurring on the track. I'll take Larry McReynolds and his eternal struggle with proper grammar any day because what he's trying to say is intelligent, even if his language ain't so brite.
So, the race sits on my DVR waiting to be watched. I made it a couple of laps in to the caution for Denny Hamlin, but had to stop it last night. I'm completely out of practice of watching the races live, so doing the radio while watching the race isn't always an option. Maybe I'll just start watching the TNT coverage on mute w/ music playing in the background and only put the sound up when I'm really itching to do so.
Dale Jr.'s new crew chief eyes top-down review
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I really need to move NASCAR.com to the back of the short list of sources I routinely look for Sprint Cup information. This interview and article from ESPN.com kicks the ass of anything I've read on NASCAR.com in a long time. I hope the info in this article gets good circulation because I'm really interested in the insight provided in the interview and the thought process that Lance McGrew stated on his approach.
My parents and I were discussing the 88's situation yesterday during my birthday lunch at Thai Garden. We all seemed to agree that Tony needed to be shifted somewhere else. It sucks to have to do that to family, but replacing the crew chief seemed the obvious choice to us. I can accept there isn't likely to be complete unity between the 24/48 and 5/88 garages, but with everyone but 88 performing this season, fault is easily found with the garage/crew leadership of that team. I'm encouraged that Jr and McGrew have successfully worked together previously in the Nationwide Series, but hope the rapport is good enough that Jr has too much of an emotional hurdle to overcome with the loss of his cousin as crew chief.
I am a Bama boy, so Talladega is naturally my favorite track. All five of the Winston/Sprint Cup races I've seen have been at Talladega. I have seen extremely exciting races and I've seen some of the most boring follow-the-leader/43 car train races at the track.
I have never been a fan of restrictor plates and still am not. Until NASCAR can cut the smooth aerodynamics of the cars, you will only see cars crammed together in one HUGE pack or you'll have them all lined up single file. The engines have been too equalized by the restrictor plate racing. No one can give their engines the gasps of air needed for a jolt of power to pull off a pass. As illustrated by the power of two cars with bumpers glued together being able to pass a looser-spaced line of other cars yesterday, racing at Talladega is too reliant on aerodynamics for advancement. The cars on the tracks really need to get a shape closer to the cars you see on the road to cut the influence of air and put a little more value into this whole series being comprised of "stock cars."
As for the track... I appreciate seeing races at Talladega more the past few times I've gone over the first couple of races I saw as a teenager. The big difference - large TV screens ring the in-field of the track for those on the grandstands to view. Watching the race there consists of yelling while your driver blurs past you, watching the cars thru binoculars when they hit the banking, and then catch a flash or two of cars as they go down the opposite straightaway/dogleg. While it is nothing like the situation at Indy, you just can't possibly view the majority of the track at Talladega from the grandstands. The addition of TVs alleviates one of my earlier concerns about safety at the track. I don't mind at all if Talladega adds thicker, longer, or more poles along the fencing. They can also add a good strong mesh layer along the outside of the fence to help with debris. Unless you are in the bottom rows on the grandstand (in which case - the noise, smoke, and bits of black rubber flying around you are a bigger annoyance) this additional fencing structure will have little negative impact to one's enjoyment of the race.
I don't think anything failed yesterday at the race...but it could have gone a little better.
Have yet to finish watching the race in California. I think I'm about 50 laps from the finish. After the boys went down, it was time for JD and I to watch The Amazing Race, I watched some of the race, JD asked to watch something else, and I fell asleep before I could get back to the race.
I'm liking several of the contestants on TAR. I think I'm going to stick with the little stunt guys as my favorite despite the sympathy factor for the deaf kid/mom and my familiarity with Mike White (School of Rock, Chuck & Buck) who's participating with his dad. As long as the NFL cheerleaders don't win, there is a God.
The hair has faded to green w/ a blueish tint on top. The side and back are more green-blonde.
The rest of the house may be pretty darn clean, but the master bedroom is an ABSOLUTE WRECK! Until JD finishes getting stuff set to sell at Kids Market, it will remain a mess.
I really need a non-windy day soon...but on a day that I can actually do yard work. I must napalm the mulched areas of weeds. Also, the henbit and other spring weeds have started earlier this year in the lawn and will need some Weed-B-Gone, too. The south side of the house is in particularly bad shape.
Harper isn't consistent, but she's getting much better about only waking up once or twice a night. Last night she needed attention at 11:30pm and then didn't wake up until close to 6:30am.
( Cory bitches about how he struggled to watch the race in the face of constant interruptions by nearly everyone in the family. )
* I know a great deal of the blame goes to the rain that cleaned the track, but the follow-the-leader that dominated the race was jostled up enough to keep me from being bored, but this was a more lackluster Daytona 500 considering the prevalence of 3-wide racing in recent events at the track.
* I'm very pleased with Tony Stewart's attitude this past week and impressed with what his team of cars accomplished.
* Poor Dale Jr. had a bummer of a day that was partially bad luck and partially his shooting himself in the foot. With the level of frustration I was having around the house, I really felt for the guy.
* It's good to have Mark back on a full schedule so I have someone that I'm enthusiastic about seeing race. I knew Hendrick would give him a good car and crew, so here's to hoping that Mark can make the most out of this season.
* Digger the Groundhog and Friends? *rolls eyes* Surely, Fox, there was a better way to spend your dough to enhance our viewing experience than creating characters and stories based off an animated graphic you use when switching to the track-embedded camera.
I hope the tire problem isn't primarily due to the surface of the track like the Goodyear guy and...Harvick(?) mentioned on TV.
I really like Carl Edwards as a person and do like his driving 90% of the time...but when the guy makes mistakes, he really makes STUPID mistakes. Bumping his teammate in the corner is bad enough. Having that contact be on one side of the bumper and not the middle made that wreck a certainty. Poor Jr. gets love, but what he really needs is a win. Talladega will give him another; today just wasn't the day, I guess.
Big congrats goes to Tony Stewart for finally winning a race here in Alabama. That last lap pass by Regan Smith was fun to watch - whether or not it was actually legal. While part of me would like to think there would be a last lap exception to the yellow line, it just doesn't make any logical sense at all. Seeing Tony in Victory Lane really makes me hope that Good Tony will be on display next year with his new team so I would be willing to support him and JD won't be so readily moved to vomit if I say something nice about the guy.
Big props also need to go out to ABC for not immediately ditching the race after the checkers fell. There were too many times in the past were NBC, in particular, just dumped out of the race when it was late. With the finish we had today, to close the coverage without interviews with Regan and Tony would have been a crime.
( Current contenders )
I've lost JD. She's joined the Coupon Clipping Cult. Not just clipping, but organizing them in a 3-ring binder with baseball card sleeves, stacking numerous coupons with store sales and credits, and odd shopping calculus that involves buying stuff we don't want to get lots of stuff we do want at a great discount that more than makes up for what we spent for what we didn't want. I think the wave has crested. While organizing the sales papers and coupons the other day, she turned to me and confessed, "Okay, this isn't fun any more."
( A Tribe Called Quest - 'Check the Rhime' )
I'm currently under the belief that I'm only going to download the BBC broadcasts of Doctor Who until it starts on SciFi next weekend. And then I think about how much I flinch when commercials break up a scene or what they cut out to make room for commercials (after the Jack/Martha cut from last series). I'm definitely going to stop uploading them at that time. So, if there is someone actually getting them from me, start looking for another resource or wait it out a few weeks. Sorry, takes too long to upload for it to be convenient each week.
The Battle of Hastings was in 1066.
This is a test. A what? A test. A what? A test. Oh, a test!
Phoenix is actually exciting to watch tonight. I'm going to credit the magical powers of racing at night. I'm uncertain of the physics that might explain the excitement level of aerodynamically stable cars with no grip on a flat track.
Just under 280 hours until I get snipped.
House Homeland Security Committee staffers are on a peculiar mission to study"public health issues at events involving mass gatherings," which has personally insulted Rep. Robin Hayes of Concord, North Carolina.
The event: NASCAR.
The rub: the requirement that the Democrat and Republican staffers attending first be immunized against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, tetanus,diphtheria, and influenza.
"I have never heard of immunizations for domestic travel, and as the representative for Concord, North Carolina, I feel compelled to ask why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed to travel to my hometown," Mr. Hayes, a Republican, said in a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and committee chairman.
"I have been to numerous NASCAR races, and the folks who attend these events certainly do not pose any health hazard to congressional staffers or anyone else," Mr. Hayes said.
A committee staffer says that the Republican staffers have declined the shots but that two Democrat staffers were immunized before attending the race at Talladega last weekend.
A phone call to the committee spokesman was not returned.
— Audrey Hudson, Homeland Security reporter, The Washington Times
Show me where the same was held for football games at such lovely stadiums as Giant Stadium at the Meadowlands or state fairs or any other public gathering and I won't be pissed off. Of all places, Lowe's Motor Speedway is among the nicest tracks on the circuit. If NASCAR was the only sport to spur this warning, I definitely question the mindset of the chairperson or whomever decided to add the immunization warning. I wonder what Rep. Thompson would say if a GOP controlled Congress mandated shots for people traveling to see a game at Ole Miss, Alcorn State, or Miss State? Sorry, no gambling in Tunica without having documentation of the required shots!
Of the driver color commentators, I prefer Rusty to DW although Wally has improved greatly over the past season. Amen that I don't have to hear that brainless, Ken Squier-wannabe, hack Bill Weber anymore this season. A race without Weber is pure bliss.