Since I got all philosophical, sentimental, or whatever you would call that with the Texas Race Report –I left out the “Notes” section where I usually go into all things NASCAR that didn’t fit nice and tidy in the race post. So I present to you- NASCAR tidbits in no particular order that have been floating around in my brain: (more…)
Someone please tell me what is it with Misty and I? Of the last three races that we have been able to attend in person (Fall Phoenix 2012, Las Vegas, and now Autoclub) post race fights have broken out at two of them and each fight included one of our favorite drivers (Phoenix had Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer going at it and of course you may have heard that my driver went a little agro on Joey Logano at Autoclub). I will get into the post race pugilism a little later. First let’s get to the actual race.
I thought the race in New Hampshire was a snooze fest on TV. I don’t know if it was that way in person or not. Denny Hamlin lead a majority of the laps…a HUGE HONKIN’ majority – and by quite a large lead. Basically no one could catch him. Unfortunately when a race is dominated so greatly like that I tend to find them a tad boring.
Tony qualified 3rd! A stellar effort. I was THRILLED. WhooHoo! He lead thirty somthing (38 sticks in my head but I am not sure) laps. Thrilled. He fell back a little having to shove the break down when someone came across his nose during pit stops- but he still came out third. Still thrilled. The race went down hill from there. They were chasing the car handling and Tony fell further and further back. He even dropped out of the top 10 a couple times. He was always able to get back into the top ten but still…they were NOT the car they were at the beginning of the race. Tony was disappointed- and voiced his dissatisfaction on the radio after the race telling the team “Disappointed guys- all the way around.” Don’t worry Tony- I was disappointed too.
Tony was able to actually finish the race 7th. This caused him to drop down to 4th in the Sprint Cup Championship standings.
- All of the cautions at New Hampshire were for debris- except for the competition caution at lap 40. Those don’t help for the excitement level that is for certain. Sometimes races are boring. I am sure that happens with other sports too. Sometimes there is just a dude.
- I decided to try out RACE BUDDY for the first time ever today during the race…while watching the National Broadcast. I decided not to do that again. Race Buddy was actually about a lap behind the TV and was driving me bonkers so I turned off my laptop and used DirecTV Hotpass instead. But I do think it would be great to use if I wasn’t able to watch the race- like say…during a rain- postponed race at work or something.
- Last season- there was a large contingent of Tony Stewart fans (before the 2011 Chase that is) who wanted Stewart’s then crew chief Darian Grubb replaced. I know this because I was often subscribed to their FaceBook groups (come on Facebook- make it so that people can ASK you to join not just auto join you into their groups). They got their wish despite the fact that Tony won the 2011 Championship. I often wonder if they regret getting their wish?
- A special thanks to Glenn Bure for providing our pictures from the race at New Hampshire!
Next week: DOVER!
My Favorite shot of Glenn’s from New Hampshire:
As a Tony Stewart fan, I went into the 2011 Sprint Cup chase extremely pessimistic. After all, Tony Stewart went into the chase saying he thought the team was wasting a chase berth with the way they had been performing. Of course we all know what happened; Tony Stewart went on a tear- won FIVE of the ten Chase races (something that had NEVER been done before) including the season closer at Homestead-Miami, thus winning the Chase by TIEBREAKER. It was both exhilarating and stressful to be a Tony Stewart fan towards the end of the 2011 chase. I was AT the Phoenix race and spent most of the race perched on the patio of the media center- watching the race through my fingers. I don’t even remember much about the Homestead race- except that I was so stoked that I promised my family that if Tony won the championship I would treat them to dinner at the Outback. Guess you all know what I had for dinner that night. What made the chase so great last year- especially during Homestead was that it was so CLOSE- and to win it Tony Stewart HAD TO WIN THE RACE- a second place wouldn’t cut it.
This year however, I feel EXCITEMENT going into the chase because this year NASCAR’s Chase for the 2012 Sprint Series Cup could be brought home by ANY of the 12 drivers. I personally do not count ANYONE out. Sure Tony’s the reigning champion and I would LOVE to see him become a FOUR time champion. Denny Hamlin goes in to the Chase seeded first and his crew chief Darian Grubb no doubt feels he has a point to prove. But I can’t count out Jimmie Johnson- he’s won five and is looking hard for 6. With FOUR of the 12 cars being Hendrick Motorsports cars that means mathematically (and I am NOT good at math people) there is a 1/3 chance that winner could be a Hendrick car- and Junior has been looking strong and CONSISTENT all season. And Jeff Gordon has been driving like a maniac (in a good way) these last few races. And Kasey’s had some bad luck but pretty much had that first Wild Card spot in the bag in Richmond. Kenseth no doubt would like to leave the 17 team with a Championship before jumping over to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. Harvick is tenacious and they didn’t give him the nickname THE CLOSER for anything. Then we have dark horses like Greg Biffle, Martin Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer who have also been RIGHT there all season long. And I would NEVER ever ever count out Brad Keselowski. In my mind- right before we go into the first race of the Chase it is ANYONE’s trophy right now.
As a NASCAR fan, the fact that it is anyone’s championship right now is EXCITING. Of course I still want Tony Stewart to win it!
Who do YOU think will win it all?
I was wondering about what kind of racing the “new” new Bristol would produce. I wondered about how the grinding would effect the track and the grooves. I was working when practice was happening on Friday so didn’t really even get to see any cars on the track. I had no idea what to expect. During pre-race some drivers kept stating that it would be hard to pass. That is never any fun to watch- so I honestly worried that the race would be terribly boring. Qualifying had been rained out so Tony started 21st, that being his position in first practice.
(Editor’s Note: Yesterday longtime BadGroove reader Kevin M. Boots shared his experience at Watkins Glen on Friday and Saturday. As promised yesterday here is the conclusion- all about Sunday. Again I just want to thank Kevin for sharing his experiences and his pictures from the track at Watkins Glen! – Amy)
Sunday, I drove up to the track earlier than I did Saturday. I didn’t park in the infield. I drove to my usually spot near Gate 5. I took my little secret route, “the back way” to the track. There is never any traffic on this road, there is never any traffic getting to this road after you get off the hill. There is a barn on a 90 degree corner along this back way in that says “Bat Cave this way” It makes me laugh every time I see it. (more…)
Here is this week’s list of recommended NASCAR reads that I liked and thought you might enjoy:
Nationwide’s Eric McClure, his family, starting over a year after tornado- Dustin Long for Sports Illustrated
Kevin Harvick Gives Update on Josh Jones, Better Known As Twitters @Mother_Function- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com
Tony Stewart Wins Denny Hamlin’s Charity Race- Hank Kurz, Jr For AP/YahooNews!
Paul Menard Crewman Goes After Hendrick Team Member After Pit Road Incident- Bob Pockrass for Sporting News
Stewart Not Happy With NASCAR, Pit Crew at Richmond- Jon Gunn for Sporting News
Hendrick Motorsports Still Searching For Elusive 200th Win- Dustin Long for Athlon Sports.
Scott Speed Interview (12 Questions)- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com
The Daly Planet: Day Two: The TV Bait And Switch- The Daly Planet Editor
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:
A Softer Side Of Smoke- Charlie Leffler for The Mechanicsville Local
Kyle Petty Not Concerned About Direction Of Victory Junction Gang Camp After Removal of Wife Patti- Bob Pockrass for Sporting News
Jimmie Johnson Repeats As ‘America’s Most Influential Athlete”- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com
NASCAR Needs More Wrecks and Here’s How It Can Do It- Jeff Owens for SportingNews.com
Birds Of A Feather- Joe Menzer for NASCAR.com
12 Questions with Martin Truex Jr- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:
The expression says it all: