Monday, October 26, 2009

View From The Flagstand

With just four races remaining in the Chase, all of Jimmie Johnson's closest competitiors lost ground to the current, and future, champ Sunday in Martinsville. That's the bad news. The good news is that at least he didn't win. Or is it? He didn't win, yet still padded his points lead.

CHECKERED FLAG.....The Commonwealth of Virginia's own Denny Hamlin won at Martinsville, Virginia's tight half-mile roller rink for the second time in his career. He led a race high 206 laps, including the last 138. Some people (me) thought that Hamlin would fall to pieces after a disastrous start to his Chase efforts. Yesterday, he and his crew kept their cool through several restarts at the end of the race and earned a tough win.

GREEN FLAGS.....Juan Pablo Montoya was back on the podium with his hard fought third place finish. Kyle Busch overcame a lot of adversity to score a 4th on Sunday and a 2nd on Saturday in the NNS race in Memphis. Jamie McMurray (6th) and Kevin Harvick (10) broke into the top-10 for a rare visit Sunday. Bobby Labonte qualified 8th and hung around the top-10 most of the day, and finally came home in 13th. A lot tougher than a 13th at most tracks these days.

YELLOW FLAGS.....The following drivers all were involved in at least one crash, most of them more than that. Scott Speed (31), Kasey Kahne (32), David Stremme (33), AJ Allmendinger (34), and Sam Hornish (35). None of these guys has ever been a contender at Martinsville, and it doesn't look like they will be for a long while.

RED FLAG.....Carl Edwards on his on track tete-a-tete with rival Kyle Busch, "I don't know what his problem is. I got into him, he hit me back, then I hit him back, so we're even." Maybe you shouldn't have dropped out of that community college, Carl. You admit you hit him first, AND now you're even?

BLACK FLAG......NASCAR'S dumb ass rule about freezing the field the instant a caution comes out. This would also do away with other dumb ass rules for the lucky dog and the wave around. Twice now in the last month, there has been a wrecked car sitting at the finish line on the last lap. Twice now, NASCAR has waited too long to throw the caution.

In the previous instance, they showed the yellow when the leader was exiting turn four. Yesterday they threw the caution and checkered flag simultaneously as Hamlin hit the finish line. That meant that Hamlin raced back to the line but no one else could, as the field should have been frozen as soon as the yellow was displayed. Check the replay out and see if Busch passed Jeff Gordon for position before, or after, the yellow flew. It was close, and Gordon may have backed off for the caution.



  1. I thought for sure Jimmie was spedding to pit row last race to catch the leader, He was about 7 cars back in line and started to pass them while the pace car was leading them. He had to go over the pace car speed limite to catch the leader at the pit lane line.

    I was going to do a frame by frame on it and now this past week I am going to.

    Then this week ESPN has all different looks and time things to show that Jimmie is breaking the rule of going faster then pit row speed limite but because of the loops and how/where he is ok?? HTF is that ok?

    I did a blog on this before showing how Jimmie can speed into his pit box, but while he sits the timer keeps going so when it's time to leave he is way under the time for that loop.

    The rule is not to go over the speed limite for that track period. Those timers this week shows he had to have at some points even if it was a few pit boxes. He even came up along the leader going to his

    Funny how the most fans think this is set up for a repeat 48 team championship, but when the crew chief or spotter say's to Denny why the caution they say (( It's to give him another shot at you)) lmao

  2. (( freezing the field the instant a caution comes out )). On the super speedway can work and maybe some of the bigger tracks,, but at a small track like this one and Bristol its not.

    Now we have a green white and checker and a lead lap car recks and can not cross the finish line he gets the last spot before lap down cars that can cross the line and running. I don't think thats fair even if they are a lap down they are running to the line. Oh well..


  3. So NASCAR is still rigging the races in Jimmies favor? It would be nice to see some real exciting racing once again. I have had it with the Jimmie and Chad show.

  4. Nice post as always. Talladega next week is the last chance for anyone who hopes to give Jimmie a hit in the standings.

    The Chase is a disaster; that's all I have to say. Look for a blog to come out in the next few weeks about how I think it could be improvised to provide us with some real racing...

  5. Can't remember which race Saturday, but they threw a debris caution and it was paper, probably a hot dog wrapper! Are binoculars still legal?lol

  6. F2....good to hear the FxF is returning. We need more of it. Whoever was talking to Denny on the radio sure knew what he was talking about!

    They made the 'No racing back to the flag' rule because of Dale Jarrett. Now he just sits in the booth, twice now, and doesn't call NASCAR out for not following it? WTF?

  7. Photo....not just the races...the championships!

    Gonger....we'll all be looking forward to that.

    Sav...I don't really mind the 'mystery debris' cautions to tighten up the field late in the race. I've seen some real snoozers that could have used one.

  8. Hmmm...sounds like NASCAR is determined to make sure that the 48 team wins that 4th championship. Letting "grey" areas go on the car. Letting JJ speed on pitroad. Wonder if NASCAR has provided a button to Knaus, so that he can turn off NASCAR's transponder for the 48 car?

  9. Gene, good view as usual. JJ was speeding on pit road EVERY time he exited the pits and he wasn't caught ONCE?? Something's fishy goin' on around here. I'm with the view that the championships are rigged in JJ's favor; look at JPM at Indy. He was ROBBED royally of a Brickyard 400 win on a questionable speeding call. And what about the two quick cautions that got him nearly caught up with the field on Sunday? On that second caution, he gained TWELVE spots without passing a car! I think that second one was for "debris."

  10. Is there a penalty for stealing (re-posting?lol) a comment to Gunny's blog at another site?

    The comment was: "How can Nascar throw a caution for debris and not for a 3500 lb car stalled by the start finish line? Freakin unbelievable."

  11. Totally agree that the caution rules have become really confusing. I wish they would still just let them race back to the finish line, and that should be the only "scoring" line on the track other than pit road.
    Also, great to see Labonte get a green flag this week! Mercifully this was his last race in the #96.

  12. Flag it, fork it, the Chase is done. As much as folks hate to see HMS dominance it is impressive history we are watching to see JJ dominate as he does. They cant be cheating - they are more scrutinized than any other team, the other teams watch them in the garages like hawks and watch as their cars get torn down...

    Nascar needs racing to be exciting so badly they put Andretti in harms way. These races are SNORE fests and what the heck is up with Nascar warning Montoya about agro driving -- so lame. God forbid a race break out.

  13. Tsfan....I'm sure the other teams (RFR) are making sure that NASCAR doesn't 'give' JJ anything.

    Jon...All the pit road speeds/time are public knowledge thru NASCAR timing and scoring computer print outs. I doubt Jack R would be so quiet if JJ were getting away with anything.

  14. least give credit to who said it.

    JMayer...I also think Andretti (or his spotter) didn't catch enough blame for coming back up the track as the race was ending. Very dumb move. Would be nice for Bobby to go to RCR next year.

    Kristen....Welcome back! What's that, your 3rd, or 4th vacay this year? LOL. I'll be glad when THIS history IS history!

  15. LOL I think its my first vacay this year unless your counting going to the races...Oz was pretty amazing - lots of cute fuzzy critters to play with!

  16. Oh shoot Gene, can't a fan dream? We got to have something to blame on the way the other drivers are doing compared to JJ. LOL

  17. Sorry I missed this, Gene.

    You are SO right about this f----- place being a "Commonwealth" and not a state. It proves that every day. All VA needs now is a red state flag with a golden sickle and they have completed the transition to another form of government.