Tuesday, September 8, 2009

View From The Flagstand

The view from the flagstand was excellent this week in Atlanta. We thought that maybe the twelve driver field for the Chase would be sorted out a little in the A.T.L. But, the standings are closer now for the final transfers than they were last week.

As of now, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch are on the outside looking in. They are the only two drivers with a chance of joining the party. They will have to go for the win, lead some laps, and hope for some bad luck for their rivals Saturday night in Richmond.

CHECKERED FLAGS........Kasey Kahne benefited from a late caution flag to overtake, leader, Kevin Harvick. Then it was time for some cold Buds in Hotlanta. Harvick wound up second, and also dominated the NNS race at Atlanta on Saturday night.

GREEN FLAGS........Juan Pablo Montoya finished third, and David Reutimann was fourth. Ride swappers, Bobby Labonte (18) and David Gilliland (19) both were better than expected. So were David Stremme (14), Paul Menard (15), and Robby Gordon (16). Probably the first, and last, time those three will get a green flag from me.

YELLOW FLAGS.......Kyle Busch led a lot of laps early, then couldn't close the deal. He was as high as sixth in points at one point during the race, but ended up losing a spot and falling to 14th. With just one regular season race to go, he won't be able to depend on his talent to make the Chase. Kurt Busch was also strong early, hanging aroung the top-5. He kissed the wall and finished 38th. Jimmie Johnson may have had the car to beat, but problems dropped him to 36th.

RED FLAG.......Bobby Labonte may have been jobbed by his race team. His team, HOFR is in bed with Yates Racing, who are, in turn a puppet for RFR. Bobby thought it strange that his car didn't have sponsorship for seven races.....at the end of the season. Also, strange that a driver can drive in seven races without losing his standings as a rookie driver....for future runs at the ROY award. Nothing against Labonte's replacement, (future ROY contender) Erik Darnell (who finished 30th).....it's not his fault he drives for Beezlebub in a hat.

BLACK FLAG......Tony Stewart, who not only isn't exactly peaking as the Chase looms, is reportedly this close to bringing Danica Patrick to NASCAR. Why? Money! There can be no other reason. A handfull of open wheel aces have tried to drive the taxi cabs in the last few years. Other than Scott Speed, in ARCA and the Truck Series, none have come close to a win. And, all are far more talented than Danica.

WHITE FLAG......I'm no big Carl Edwards fan (no, really) but the story that aired during the pre-race about the young girl with cancer was a real tear jerker. Carl's sponsor, AFLAC, had a contest for youth cancer patients to design the paint scheme for Carl's #99 that he would drive at Atlanta. The winner was Carl's guest and she even got to ride around the track with him as part of the pre-race introductions. So for getting me all choked up, Carl gets the white flag of truce. Which means no more jokes about him until season's end.



  1. I reckon the main reason the openwheel guys have done so poorly is because they've come straight into the Cup series. If they wanted to do it right, they'd have done what Ambrose did and start in the Trucks before working their way up.

  2. Yeah Tez, that's what Scott Speed did also. I don't think racing in the lower series will help Danica though. She has nowhere near the talent or skill set of Franchitti, Hornish, Speed, Carpentier, or Ambrose. And none of those guys have been consistently good yet in Cup.

  3. Allmendinger of a read Gene! I missed the prerace, so I'll crack the jokes on Carl for you... Just say the word.

  4. I think Stewart needs to quit talking to Danica and get focused on the task at hand. Winning his third Cup Champion and the first for Stewart-Haas.

    That was a bad break for Harvick. But I guess Bowyer decided to pay him back for Bristol by costing him a win. Just kidding about Bowyer. lol

  5. CR....Okay....I'm saying the word. lol

    Tsfan.....Interesting to see if HMS supplies Tony with the 'good stuff' during the Chase.

  6. Love all the flags but the black one. Danica is smart and knows where the money is, can't blame her for trying to get in to NASCAR. No one is saying she will compete for wins or take NASCAR by storm, Tony see's sponsor money with her and that is smart on his part as a owner first with the way sponsors are limited.

    They started to get his car running up near the top 10 before the lugs fell off. What I don't understand is why the crew chief dosn't tell him to stop as he starts to take off and back up to do the lugs then, before the laps cars come down the pits. It look like 2 lugs had come off so driving around a lap with 3 lugs was bad.lol

  7. Bobby Labonte gets mentions in two flags! Although one is green and one is red, I will take it. As a fan, I was really hoping Labonte would beat Darnell, but watching the #96 sit back with the start-and-parkers while Labonte was in the top 15 was great!

  8. F-2....Your right. I shouldn't blame Danica for taking whatever anyone is dumb enough to pay her. That's what I do. LOL

    JM....The red flag was more for the situation that Bobby is in, not for him personaly. It was great to see him have a decent run. The #71 looked awesome, sponsor and everything!

  9. White flag on a week that he breaks his foot playing "frisbee" Come on Gene! Its too easy!


    I dont like the Busch bros in yeller but they both deserve it. What kills me is Kurt has been running "safe" to get in the Chase and all it has done is put him on the edge of the bubble. Stupid! Should have been going for wins.

    Danica can distract Tony all she wants...I find it amusing he was the one that called NASCAR the WWF and now he is leading the 3 ring circus if he is really courting her.

  10. Kris....I hate points racing! Stewart missed the Chase a couple of years ago by doing it. Looks like teams would have learned from that. About a month ago, Kyle said his team hadn't gone for a win since the 600 at the end of May. WTH?


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  12. Nice rant RL. I think you said more than Gene. You're in the lead. lol

  13. Nice blow by blow Gene.

    Khane is having a consistent year with some of the other teams having hot and cold performances. No title for Kasey this year though he has matured nicely and shows that he can handle the big tracks and the road coarse most of the time. ..

    The 96 team had to be embarassed seeing Labonte put an underfunded team into the top 20.

    RCR did burn the midnight oil but Atlanta is Harvick's best track as he finished 4th there in the Spring. RCR in general has been off the pace along with many other teams. Boyer started out solid then couldn’t do anything until Pocono. What happened to Jeff Burton ? Does he still race in the Cup Series ? I just can’t figure that one out.

    Concerning points racing ....Nascar can create any format they want, there are still going to be some sand baggers, just more of em now.

    What is missing are real fights for a win. Some of the recent events have been competitive but typically who ever gets the lead pulls away.

    Maybe we expect too much from these races as the sport has gravitated towards points racing instead of the race.

    The Southern 500 was held in such high regard at one time that many drivers said that this race was the one they wanted to win the most no matter what. The schedule as it is now has taken away "The Race". Maybe this is just my perception but who was thinking about points when they hammered on each other at North Wilkesboro or even at the old Richmond Fairgrounds. Dover was to be a meat grinder at 500 laps on asphalt. Winning at Dover in Sepember used to be the inside track to the title.

    We need some of the old nasty rough and tough venues, they should be the longest races possible on the hottest days ....I am getting dizzy ~~~~ ~~ ~ do not recall drivers complaining about it all back in the day.

    Kudos for Carl at Atlanta, is he going to win this year ?

    Just can't see Danica making a difference driving something with fenders on it but I can see Danica sitting on something that has fenders on it. In five years or less she will be out of racing completely to become a Celebutante or to raise a family or both or ..... she gets a divorce and hooks up with Tony the G Man Stewart.

    Got to give a call to JPM, he knows how to drive s Cup car for sure.

    The big thumbs up for Vickers and his crew. I have never seen a team change an axle on pit road with out losing a lap ! Regardless, they are having a very nice year.

    CR, Gene is way out in front ....he is the man. Had to delete the original repsonce, looked like I drank a 5th of Jim Beam ...LOL

    I cant help but comment G's his weekly run downs .....

    Seriously, it takes a lot of time and effort to post up weekly forums like Gene and others. These guys are the best in the business in my book.

  14. RL May be onto something here as far as Dainca. Those were my thoughts. It is probably money but more than likely it is more exposure literally speaking in photo shoots which is not all bad..

  15. Rick....Man, you are on a roll today, bro!

    Atlanta actually had some good racing. The leader didn't just pull away, like is usually the case.

    Danica averages about an 8th place finish in IRL...only 18-20 cars start though. In NASCAR, she will give Jr a contest to see who makes the most while having the least results.

    Loved the old Richmond track as a kid in the 70s. Even though Richard Petty won almost every time we went. Old school racing!

  16. Photo....I'm sure she makes a lot more off the track than she does on it.

  17. Gene, good View as usual. Looking back on the ATL race, that's one of Happy's very best tracks, so a good run wasn't that surprising. What WAS surprising was he had a car that checked out on the long runs. But no thanks to Bowyer, Harvick was denied a win.