Thursday, August 13, 2009

Right Sides Only

We are back in Michigan already for the second time of this short summer. Oh joy, another fuel mileage race. Of course that all depends on who is winning near the end. You just never know when that pesky debris will materialize, and cause a caution which naturally gives birth to a twin file restart.

Looking back at the Glen from last Monday, I'm left to wonder what did the 1980s, touristy go kart tracks and Watkins Glen of 2009 have in common?

Answer: They both rely on used car tires as the main barrier between driver and walls.

You can always spot the ISC (NASCAR owned) tracks. They're the ones that are ten to twenty years behind industry standards. Watkin's Glen's safety barriers, Darlington's, well... everything, Dover's pit road. All outdated. I know, they finally updated Dover's pits....just this year!

Also, with the Glen being rained out on Sunday, some fans (who must be watching on TV) are squawking for rain tires on road courses for Cup races. NO! Who really wants to sit in a downpour, and watch drivers---who have NEVER raced in the rain----tip toe around the track at half speed?

In 1992 Harry Gant won the August race at MIS to become the oldest Cup winner at 52 years and 7 months old.

After several years of selling out a year in advance, Bristol's night race just sold out....10 days in advance. Still the one race to go to when you can only go to one.

RPM drivers, Reed Sorenson and AJ Allmendinger swapped crew chiefs and crews this week. AJ's #44 will be up late with Super 8 at MIS. Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts will try to keep Reed well stocked in the #43 this weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr's name has been removed from some pie in the sky auto racing complex in Alabama. This joint will supposedly have a 7/10 mile track with seating for 75,000. We'll see.

Twenty years ago today (August 13, 1989) NASCAR lost a great one....Tim Richmond. Since NASCAR won't, how about we fans take a moment to remember Tim during the pace lap on Sunday. Those of us that saw him race will never forget him. He was, that, damn, good!



  1. Great reminder about losing Tim Richmond today, Gene. Will definitely take a moment to remember him on Sunday...or Monday.

    Good thing I didnt get that condo in the racing complex in Alabama...

  2. Tim Richmond's career was like a comet--short but brilliant. And something you NEVER forget.

  3. Kristen...There is a tribute video on youtube about Tim. I may try and find it then see if I can put it up here.

  4. Jon...Tim had Kyle Busch's talent in the car, but not the bad attitude out of the car.

  5. Tim Richmond....Davey Allison...Alan Kulwicki....miss them all. Even Dale Sr., who would be 58-59 yrs old right now would be worth watching in the current "version" of this series.

    They must have some great, side-by-side, fender bending races in the afterlife, huh?

  6. Gene sometimes it is hard to think that we have lost some of NASCAR's most talented drivers over a decade ago.

    Is the track in Alabama the one he and his sister were so heavily involved with trying to get off the ground?

  7. Moseby....You think Sr could still wheel it in a COT? Interesting to wonder if he still would be racing occasionaly.

    I bet there's a big dirt oval around the top of Mt Oylmpus.

    Have a good weekend, and when you go out...ABC!

  8. Ann...Time does fly by. Hard to believe that it's been over 15 years for Davey and Alan.

    I think the developers were paying Jr a boatload of money to attach his name to that Ala project. Yes, it's the same one that Kelly and Kerry were 'involved' in. Wonder how much money they would have got if Jr wasn't also involved. Uneducated guess----None!

  9. Nice stop, Gene. NascarNow had a piece on Tim yesterday. He was an ALL In type person, whether it was racing or partying.

    ISC doesn't have to upgrade, They will never lose their dates. They have no concern for anything but their own wallet.

    I don't know why Jr took his name off of it, it would never get a Cup Date without him.

    Tsfan- yes JR, his sister, and even Kerry had been part of the deal. All are now out, with now hard feelings according to developer.

    Bristol- Your 100% correct, if you can only attend one race. This is the one. I spent a great weekend there once. One day I hope to go again.

  10. no problem with sitting in the rain to watch a race...done it for a 500km V8 race and some practice sessions for the F1 boys in Melbourne. If you're a fan of the sport, you know weather is part of the deal and it seperates the great drivers from those who aren't, lol

  11. Stork....Right on ISC...until very recently the pits and garages at Darlington and W Glen looked the same as they did 30 years ago.

    I think Jr took his name off of it because the payments stopped.

  12. each his own. I'd rather be quenched than drenched. LOL

    I think the NASCAR rides are too heavy and not enough brakes or traction control to race in the rain. I enjoy seeing other series do it....on TV. lol

  13. One of the NASCAR shows was going to do a tribute to Tim, Looks like Storkjrc saw it. I will take seeing Daytona before Bristol. I have seen many short tracks. I beleave you guys it must be fantastic but for me its got to be one of the superspeedways first.


  14. I just don't see Nascar ever using rain tires, mainly because the cars themselves just don't seem well suited to running in the rain (i.e lots of horsepower with very heavy cars and high center of gravity).

    As a fan, I have no problems being at the track for a rain race. One of the F1 USGP's at Indy that I attended (2003 I think) had heavy rains and the race was one of the most memorable I've seen in person.

    As far as Nascar tracks, I haven't really picked one that is a must-see for me just yet. Maybe Joliet (because it's so close). Maybe Richmond (because it looks like a great facility). Maybe Watkins Glen (because it's a road course).

  15. Junior was in Atlanta this week. As hard as it is to believe, he's part of the Winner's Circle program and the race winners are obligated to promote races. He was there talking about the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Labor Day.

    You know Keith Whitley, the country singer, died May, 1989, and he was within months of being the same age as Tim Richmond.

  16. At the very least the #3 would be racing at Daytona and Dega - IMO.

    Have a great weekend yourself man.

    Always Be Closing - yes, just want to close ONE.

  17. I think they need a gravel pit off turn 9 at the Glen. Tires, well, that's old school, so in a way I like to see them at the road courses. But they shouldn't be to near the racing surface, where they can bounce a car back onto the track. But if I'm using a porta potty near the track, I want it surounded by tires! LOL

  18. Nice one as usual Gene .....I am late

    Nascar is going Green and Michigan is their poster child. Fuel mileage and multiple slow downs are the norm anymore . . . .... ..

    There are two key things that have happened with Cup racing in recent years outside of what goes on in the tower and the flagstand.

    The drivers were spoiled by the wacked out car that was used before the COT. The new car drives like a brick and most do not like it. Both cars were created by NASCAR. The previous became a wack job because the teams asked for concessions on left front wheel offset and aero. Nascar let then hammer the nose like a bullet and allowed the right rear quarter to be flat. This car needed clean air or would push

    NASCAR came up with their own bag of s h . t with the COT. This creation is still aero sensitive with the splitter/ wing deal but is very limited on suspension movement. The drivers have to get used to it and shut up. It would be soo easy to dejunk this car but then NASCAR would have to admit that they were kinda wrong ?????

    STOCK CARS thrive on oval tracks and banked speedways where plenty of suspension travel compensates for the transition from a straight to the turn. Now they have a Europeaon V8 Super car series that has lost it's fan appeal.

    Save the rest for another post instead of filling up yours Gene but you know I love it.

    About TIm Richmond. He is the only driver I have seen that would take Dale Earnhardt all the way into a turn with out flinching, that was the key to running Earnhardt .....No fear. Dale loved that about Richmond. He was not afraid to go
    door to door.

    It has been awhile since whe have seen real hard nosed racing consistently.

    Enjoy the race and the weekend.

  19. Nice RSO as always.

    Michigan is one of those tracks that I think is pointless for NASCAR to visit twice a year.

    I'm going to try to do my bullets this weekend. I have been so busy I haven't written a blog in nearly three weeks!

  20. CR....ISC should have SAFER barriers anywhere a car may hit that Interstate guardrail they have now. Would you settle for a SAFER barrier around your porta-potty? lol

  21. Rick...Thanks for all the insight into the inner workings of the COT. We know NASCAR will never admit it's wrong...about anything!

    Seem to remember Tim and Dale putting on a show at the Glen once. A lot of sliding around by Tim. Fantastic!

  22. Gonger...MIS is pretty boring, fo sho.

    Get back to blogging!

  23. Always love RSO! Really hope there is not much debris this weekend, doubt it though.

  24. JM....If Jr could ever get the lead, we would never see debris