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:
By now most, if not all, race fans know that NASCAR’s sanctioning body parked driver Kyle Busch all weekend for an incident involving Ron Hornaday Jr. during the Camping World Truck series race on Friday night. Instead Denny Hamlin piloted the Nationwide race car Kyle was suppose to run on Saturday and Michael McDowell drove the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car in today’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Busch’s stead.
I don’t often watch the truck series races and that was the case this past Friday night. I only heard about the dust-up after the face. I’ve seen the replays multiple times. I’ve heard Kyle’s post race words and read his open letter of apology. I’ve listened to Mike Helton’s explanation of the penatly. I’ve listen to Coach Gibbs. I’ve read parts of the letter from sponsor Mars. I’ve listened to commentators and drivers and fans.
I do realize that Ron Hornaday Jr is/was running for a championship. So was Matt Kenseth at Martinsville when Vickers repeatedly wrecked him last weekend. NASCAR took no action there- after all isnt it “boys have at it?” Is the idea not that the drivers are to police themselves? I also realize that Kyle did wreck Hornaday intentionally under a caution. A caution that had just come out and there were no safety vehicles in their vacinity.
I am not saying that Kyle didn’t take it too far. He did, afterall, wreck a championship contender intentionally under a caution. NASCAR should not look the other way and I am not suggesting that they do. Parking the truck for the remainder of the race was a good start. Points and monteary fines for Kyle Busch and Kyle Busch Motorsports should probably follow. My big issue is parking Busch for the Sprint Cup race. At the time of the incident Kyle was not driving for Joe Gibbs racing during the truck race. It’s no different then when Tony stewart or Kasey Kahne go racing for their own dirt teams on friday nights. Their actions at those tracks should not effect their current sprint cup rides much in the same way that Kyle’s incident in the truck series should not effect his Sprint Cup ride. Sure penalize and fine the everloving hell out of Kyle Busch and KBM but not JGR. This is the same stand that I took when Kyle got in trouble for his excessive speeding in North Carolina earlier this year. That had nothing to do with Joe Gibbs Racing either.
I admit I am surprised that according to the ESPN pre-race pole that 55 percent of those polled think that Kyle Busch should be let go by Joe Gibbs racing. I wholeheartedly disagree with that, which should not be a surprise. I have a feeling that many of the NASCAR fans voting for the pro-firing must be the Kyle Busch haters. You know the ones. The booers. The same fans who write things like Kyle Busch Crash HERE X on the Safer Barrier by the start-finish lines at the tracks. The same fans who boo his crew as they push their car onto the qualifying grid. The same fans who harassed his wife on twitter- which is so beyond not cool to me. It’s one thing to use social networking to call out a driver for their actions – it’s a completely other thing to call out or harass their spouse, girlfriend, or other family member or loved one. That is not cool at alll.
Taking Kyle out of the race effectively ruined any remote chance at a decent chase finish. He is now mathematically eliminated from the chase. It also pretty much ruined the race at Texas Motor Speedway for both Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano- his teammates. They spend the weekend sharing notes on their cars and handling. Kyle is very obviously a BIG part of that looking at the finishes by both Hamlin and Logano. Joe Gibbs Racing has already suffered enough for Kyle Busch’s actions while racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I don’t think any further action is necessitated by NASCAR or any of the JGR sponsors. I keep hearing the voice of Kyle Busch singing in the newest Toyota commercial “Everybody wants a second chance.”
I work Monday- Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm so I was a wee bit disappointed that Watkin’s Glen was rained out. Now it’s not to say that I wasn’t tempted to call in to watch the race. Sure I was tempted, but it is our busiest times of the year right now at work plus I kinda like getting paid and “rain delayus to next dayus- aka race related illness” are not considered appropriate uses of sick leave – of that I am almost certain. So I watched the first several laps on TV until 7:30am (remember I am a west coast fan) when I begrudgingly got in my car mumbling the whole time about wanting to watch the race and drove my butt to work where I wouldn’t be able to watch the race.
Instead of complain about the run Tony had- I thought I would focus on the end result. He may have had an ill-handling car and he may have started back in 31st- but he finished ninth- I will take a top ten finish any day! Tony finished 9th and is now 10th in Sprint Cup Standings.
Here are some visual goodies from the Richmond Weekend:
Tony also took part in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown- racing the Prelude To The Dream Late Model Chevy on Thursday evening:
The Fox pre-race show featured a Darrel Waltrip interview with Tony and promised more of the interview online at the FoxSport’s NASCAR page. Well I found that little tidbit for you and embedded it here so you don’t have to worry about missing the rest of the interview with DW:
I think they left some of the best parts of the interview for the online portion!
Notes about Richmond:
- I LOVE the looks of the Mobil 1 paint scheme…especially the firesuit…but I have to say that it’s hard for me to find that car on the track! It’s much easier for me to find that Office Depot red machine!
- I think Fox actually did a decent job covering what was going on with this race. I didn’t feel like things were happening during commercials…and when things did happen they seemed to come right out of commercial break to show us.
- I know Misty agrees with me- but that race was one that seemed a bit too long. What do you think?
- I kind of wanted to see Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya go nose to nose a little bit after the race…after all isn’t that what “have at it boys” is all about?
Next week: Darlington’s Southern 500 on SATURDAY night
I love me a good NASCAR commercial. I really do. And I am going to be completely honest…this year’s crop of NASCAR related commercials leaves a LOT to be desired so far. I have held off on writing this post for so long on the hopes that a new commercial will pop up that I love. So far really the only #NASCAR related commercial that I enjoy isn’t even available anywhere online. I have googled my fingers to the bone looking for an embeddable video of it- or even just a link over to the video and I can NOT find one. That commercial is for Gillette and starts Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Kyle is hidden in a dining cart at a restaurant and pops his head out to “surprise” unwitting male diners to try Gillette Proglide. The best two best lines are “Hey Denny (who is in an adjacent dining cart) is that tiramisu?” and then the expression on Kyle’s face when he goes “VROOM VROOM” at the very end of the commercial. THAT is my favorite commercial from this season so far although I am still holding onto the eternal hope that something new pops up that I will enjoy.
There is a web promotional video that Mobil 1 has put out to talk about the F1/NASCAR car swap that Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton are doing later this summer at Watkins Glen that I enjoy too. I can’t find an embeddable video for that one either but I can at least refer you HERE to watch it on the Official Tony Stewart facebook page. Beware- the video has some strange pixelations – do NOT adjust your set (that shows my age huh?) I think it’s artistic pixelations. That video has me thinking “Tony, I’ve Got An Idea” would be a great blog post title…but damned if I can think of the body to go with it. Don’t be stealing on my idea…I am still thinking about it.
Speaking of Tony Stewart and commercials and thinking, I was read this article by Richie Whitt for the Dallas Observer where he got to be an honorary crew member for the race. That got me thinking about this Clint Bowyer FANTASY NASCAR LIVE commercial (I don’t know why- that is just how my brain works):
Anyway I was thinking it is probably a good thing that this gadget allowing fans to talk directly to their drivers midrace is fictional. Not only because could you imagine all these people trying to talk at once but I know for a FACT that I would probably say something in the heat of the moment that I would regret. Could you imagine having the ability to actually speak with the driver who just tangled with your driver and wrecked him out? It’s fun to imagine…but frankly as huge of a Tony Stewart fan I am- I wouldn’t necessarily want him to hear my race comments I tend to curse like a sailor during races because I become viciously competitive. Just saying. So how about you? What’s your favorite NASCAR commercial so far this season?