Monday, November 30, 2009

Man's Game

If you’ve ever scoped out or one of those other internet dating sites, and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t, you will have noticed that every woman on there is looking for a man with a sense of humor. At least 90% of the men I know have a sense of humor. So they shouldn’t be that hard to find, girls.

The problem lies in what men think is funny, and what women think is funny. There’s that, and the fact that women don’t have a sense of humor. Men think that funny stuff is funny. The Three Stooges, Dave Chappelle, and other guys getting hit in the danglers. Stuff like that, we find hilarious.

Women think that Sex in the City, kids, and chicks on the radio are funny. No, none of those are funny. That is, unless the kid’s getting hit in the junk. Women think that a coincidence is funny. They will tell you a ten minute story about how she and a stranger both ordered the same salad at lunch, with no punchline or payoff. They think some bedheaded fratboy prancing back and forth telling that same salad story is hilarious. Hellllo, Dane Cook!

Men don’t mind laughing long and loud in public. To the point of obnoxiousness even. How many times have you been perturbed by a woman laughing in public? A sober woman? Not many, huh? Are little girls taught that it’s impolite to guffaw in public? Or, is it a learned habit by seeing what jackasses men who do it can be?

Somehow, little boys learn that belching, peeing, farts, pain, and other low brow acts are funny. Once we grow up we don’t stray much from that formula. Well, except for adding sex and profanities to the list of what’s funny. Sure we get the cerebral humor, but we can’t help laughing at the low brow stuff also.

So when you girls say you want a man with a sense of humor, know what you’re going to get. Our humor is completely different from your humor. We like raunchy, physical, humor. You think four crows sitting around discussing shoes is cutting edge. That’s fine, just know that we are wired differently for comedy. Don’t ask for a sense of humor and expect it to match yours.

Funny to women…..
Dane Cook, Rita Rudner
Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock,
Ziggy, Garfield
Those posters of kittens talking
Talking about another woman’s apparel

Funny to men……
Dimitri Martin, Chelsea Handler
Vince Vaughn, Larry David
South Park, Boondocks
Graffiti on bathroom walls
Laughing at another guy’s embarrassment

Women aren’t looking for a man with a real sense of humor, they are looking for a sensitive guy who laughs at what they laugh at. Big difference, ladies.

****This is from a book I'm writing to help women understand men. Any feedback is welcome and may also be included in the book.****

Monday, November 23, 2009

View From the Flagstand

So many mixed emotions once the last race of the season is in the books. On one hand I am so glad that it is over. On the other hand I can't wait for next year. Next year, when everything will be different (again). Jimmie Johnson won't win the title next year (again). Kyle Busch will cash in his potential chips (finally). The happiest, yet saddest words, the least believable, but most believable words to a sports fan, "Wait til Next Year!"

In less than three months the multi-hued, buzzing, packs of cars will be circling the asphalt cliffs of Daytona International Speedway. Everyone's personal favorite driver will still have a shot at the championship. The big surprises, and disappointments, of the season will have yet to reveal themselves, and every fan's hopes will be as high as a Dale Jr fan's are.

CHAMPIONSHIP FLAGS......Jimmie Johnson made history by winning his fourth straight NASCAR Cup Championship. Johnson has proven himself to be one of the best drivers of all time during this amazing streak. Perhaps, his crew chief, Chad Knaus is getting too much of the credit? After all JJ still has to drive the car, no matter how good it is. Kyle Busch won the Nationwide Series title, and the race, Saturday in Miami. Ron Hornaday won his fourth Camping World Truck Series title this year.

CHECKERED FLAG......Denny Hamlin closed stongly this year with the win in the season finale on Sunday at Miami. Hamlin wound up fifth in points. Hamlin won four races, a personal best, this year.

GREEN FLAGS.......Jeff Burton (2) and RCR teammate Kevin Harvick (3) continued their late season turnarounds. Kurt Busch was 4th in the race, and also 4th in the final point standidngs. Jeff Gordon (6) and his HMS teammate, Mark Martin (12) finished third and second, respectively, in the points to give owner, Rick Hendrick, another NASCAR first by having the top three for the year.

YELLOW FLAGS......Juan Pablo Montoya received a two lap penalty and caught most of the grief for he and Tony Stewart's on-track scuffle. It appeared that JPM had a tremendous run on Stewart coming off a turn. Stewart then pulled in front of Montoya. Instead of hitting the brakes, JPM hit Smoke. Tony, not accustomed to having his judgement questioned, then tried to push Montoya off the track, cutting Montoya's tire in the process. JPM, after repairs, returned to the fray and spun Stewart around.

RED FLAG.........The undramatic, last race of the season is NOT the Super Bowl, ABC! The actual race took 3 hours, 8 minutes to complete. How long was ABC on the air with their pre and post race coverage? Another six hours?

BLACK FLAG.......NASCAR Czar, Brian France. His press conference from Miami on Friday was an eye opener. His personal appearance was suspect, too. Unkempt, glassy eyed, puffy, and red faced. I've seen that look before (in the mirror), not good! He actually said that Johnson going for five in a row will be the most compelling story in NASCAR next year. I don't know if he believes it, but he said it.

BF, check out the souvineer sales. JJ is nowhere near the top, and he's your top story? He has no following. Even the Little E fans, who are quick to jump on a bandwagon nowadays, won't go near him, and he's a teammate!

We need rivalries, not milk-moustached robo-drivers!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Right Sides Only

Nine long months ago we began this romance on the warm sands of Daytona Beach. Now, along the edge of the swampy Everglades, we welcome our newborn champion. A bouncing baby boy named JJ.

Nine months of this will wear on a relationship. NASCAR says it loves us, and we want to believe it, but it always ends the same. They don't listen to us, they don't respect us, they treat us as disposables, yet we always come back for more. Is this love, or dysfunction? Paging Dr. V.


DeWalt Tools pulls the plug on Matt Kenseth and his #17 RFR Ford after the race on Sunday. DeWalt has been with Kenseth since 2000 when he won the Cup Rookie of the Year Award. They were along for the ride during his Cup title winning season of 2003. They were a great sponsor with a large presence outside the track with their interactive displays for the fans.

Welcome to the 20th Century!

It's reported that NASCAR will race with fuel injection on their engines beginning in 2011. The four barrel carb that they've used since the early 1960s finally calls it quits. This of course, means there won't be any restrictor plates after next year. It will be interesting to see what brilliant plan NASCAR comes up with to slow the cars down.

Last Call for Alcohol

Casey Mears is looking for a Cup ride as Jack Daniels leaves RCR and the #07 team dries up. Mears is vying for the #09 ride at Phoenix Racing. Crown Royal leaves Jamie McMurray high and dry as the #26 Ford is history. With Jim Beam pulling the cork, Robby Gordon's self-owned #7 team may be done.


Homestead-Miami Speedway (H-MS)is the only track on the schedule that Jeff Gordon has not won a race on. Jeff's team, HMS, has also never won at H-MS! RCR has also never won at H-MS.


Big thanks to all of you guys/gals who actually read my wanderings week after week. We're almost to the finish line. One more RSO next week, to recap the season, then everyone gets a much needed break. I know I'm burnt out, and not looking forward to more of the same next year. But, I'm sure we will all be recharged when Speed Weeks roars around. Thanks to everyone for your input, and, hey, you lurkers, don't worry about hurting my feelings, go ahead and say what's on your minds. LOL


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

View From the Flagstand

Show of hands. How many of you actually thought Jimmie Johnson wouldn't dominate this week in Phoenix after his misfortune last week at Texas? Came back like a lost dog in a Disney movie. Okay, put your hands down.

Congratulations to all who have endured the last nine months of the NASCAR season....just to see JJ crowned "King of the Chase" once again. We wrap it up this Sunday in Homestead, then in less than three months the boys are back on track at Daytona. Amazing, two races in, "Meh". The other, "all right, drop the rag, let's roll"!

CHECKERED FLAG.....Jimmie Johnson dominated on Sunday leading 238 of the 312 laps at Phoenix. This after an early wreck last week had narrowed his points lead to 73 over Mark Martin. JJ's lead is back up to 108 now.

GREEN FLAGS......Martin Truex Jr won the pole and finished fifth. Jeff Burton (2nd) seems to have turned the corner on a bad season. Denny Hamlin (3rd) and Martin (4th) did all they could and never came close to Johnson. Kurt Busch (6th) led some laps and appears to be running better with the lame duck crew chief than they were before Pat Tryson gave his notice. Kevin Harvick won the Truck race on Friday and came home second in the NNS race on Saturday.

YELLOW FLAG.....Dale Earnhardt Jr caused the big one.... on a one mile track! Lil E lost it coming off turn four while in front of a pack of cars during a double file restart. He also didn't get enough of the blame for the othe non-debris caution. Again during a restart, Jr braked hard, and pulled down, but not out of the way of anyone behind him. The car in front of him (Juan Montoya, I think) didn't hit anyone, and there were several car lengths between Jr and JPM when Jr hit the brakes.

RED FLAG.....I'm taking reader's suggestions this week on the red flag. I'm tired of giving it to ABC, and, or NASCAR evry freakin' week! I don't know if I can take Jerry "Waterboard" Punch one more week.

BLACK FLAG.....Brad Keselowski. Just who does this kid think he is? Kyle Busch, or something? His talent has surprised me this year, I'd like to see what he could do in the #88 Cup car. But this guy thinks he's a veteran for some reason. He hasn't paid his dues....yet!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Right Sides Only

With just two races to go, the Chase continues with this week's stop in Phoenix. Jimmie Johnson lost over half of his points lead to Mark Martin last week in Texas after an early wreck....thanks Reutimann!

Is it Drama Yet?

It may seem exciting now that Martin appears to be within striking distance of Johnson's points lead. Yeah, sure, you betcha, just be prepared for Jerry Punch to give the point totals----if the race ended now----at least once every three minutes.

I don't know anyone who likes to hear that over and over, so maybe ABC could put a small graphic in a corner of the screen showing their, and Jeff Gordon's, points they race. Other sports have been using it for's called a scoreboard! That way the fans know who is leading. Or, even who would win.....if the contest ended won't, though.

The Kevfecta? WTH!

Kyle Busch came within 2 laps of winning all three NASCAR races at Texas last weekend, and he's geared up to try it again in Phoenix. This week, Kevin Harvick will also give it a go, as he's entered in all three national series races at the one-mile track. Harvick and Busch have both won Cup races at Phoenix. Busch (2005) joins Tony Stewart (1999) as the only rookie winners there.

A Patriot Missle

After winning last week at Texas in the "Operation Homefront" Dodge, Kurt Busch and the Miller Lite team have decided to name that winning car "Patriot". Go here and check them out, or to make a donation.

EGR in the News

Turns out that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will not be switching to Toyota next year after all. They are sticking with Chevy, and using RCR engines again in 2010. Meanwhile Aric Amirola has filed a breach-of-contract suit against EGR in a N.C. Superior Court.

Coffee and Rain-X

Too bad we're not racing in Seattle this week. Martin Truex Jr's #1 EGR Chevy will be sponsored by Rain-X and Starbucks. Starbucks makes it NASCAR debut by featuring a new instant coffee called 'VIA Ready Brew'.

I can't imagine buying Starbucks instant. As it is, I'm not a fan of their shops with the pretentious, pony tailed, poly-sci majors schlepping coffeee anyway. Oh! Maybe that will make folks buy the instant at the grocery store. Speaking of coffee....what is the deal with Dunkin Donuts coffee? Is it supposed to taste that bitter? All the time?


After the Talladega race one of NASCAR 's suited flunkies said that ABC was disparaging the 'action' on the track. Brian France jumped in and said that maybe ABC doesn't know how to telecast a non-stick and ball sport. While admitting that he did not watch the race on ABC, BF still had opinions on what ABC should be doing to increase ratings.

What a laugh! NASCAR's top execs are so clueless that they think it's the network's job to make their product exciting!


Monday, November 9, 2009

View From the Flagstand

The fat lady was waiting in the wings Sunday in Texas, but Jimmie Johnson not only didn't clinch the title, he lost hundreds of points to his rivals. With two races to go, Mark Martin is only 73 points behind in second. Fellow HMS teammate, Jeff Gordon is 112 back in third.

Sunday's Texas race winner, Kurt Busch is fourth overall, but still too far back with just Phoenix and Miami left to decide this year's champ. While NASCAR and ABC are loving this unexpected tightening up of the Chase race, don't look for JJ to stumble two races in a row.

CHECKERED FLAGS.......Kurt Busch stretched the fuel mileage as others were running out at the end. It was not a cheap win though as Kurt had one of the strongest cars all day and led 89 laps. Kyle Busch won the NNS race on Saturday and the CWTS race on Friday at Texas. He led 232 of 334 laps in the SCS race on Sunday before running out of gas two laps from the end while holding a comfortable lead over brother Kurt.

GREEN FLAGS.....Gas mileage skewed some of the top finishes, but Martin (4th) was near the front all day, and collected as many points as he could. Matt Kenseth (3rd), and Denny Hamlin (2nd) had much needed good runs. Marcos Ambrose hung out in the top-5 most of the day before having to pit for gas and settling for 15th.

YELLOW FLAG.....David Reutimann tapped Sam Hornish into our points leader, Johnson, on lap three to ruin his day. LAP 3! We know you had a fast car, Rooty, but there were still 331 laps to get to the front....and you still didn't. Calm down, son.

RED FLAG.....NASCAR throws a debris caution near the end of 116 races in a row, and this one they don't? Why?
A....They didn't expect Jr to run out of gas.
B.....They expected Kyle to run out of gas.
C.....With JJ already cooked, they didn't want any of his rivals to get taken out during a restart.
D.....ABC told them that 5 hours was already long enough for a 500 mile race.
E......Reader's choice.

BLACK FLAG......Jimmie Johnson/ABC...Why no interview with the champ while he sat behind the wall for over an hour? Whose idea was it not to do an interview, JJ's or ABC's? This flag also goes out to those fans whining about an 11th place finisher, who sits 13th in the points, not hanging around to do interviews after the race.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Kylefecta in Real Time

A Sunday without any distractions, so I’m going to log my thoughts on the Texas race live as it plays out. I’m watching the Dolphins vs Pats game on CBS and the pre-race show on ABC while I wait for the green flag.

This piece will not be objective, fair, or balanced. I’m down with Kyle pulling off the trifecta, or Kylefecta as it is now known. LOL.

Since they’re racing in Texas I’m drinking Dr Pepper. Speedy was right….it does NOT mix with ANY alcoholic beverage. I’ll try and leave the profanities out, but I can’t promise that. Go Kyle!

3:00….ZZ Top concert on front stretch. Why do all their songs sound the same on TV?
3:03….First Monday Night Football promo of raceday.
3:04….TD Miami! ‘Wildcat’ Ronnie Brown throws to a wide open TE.

3:05….I love that Southwest Airlines commercial with the baggage handlers. “Bags are my life.”
3:06….Brad Daugherty gets something to eat. Those ribs DO look good.
3:12…*&$#! Randy Moss. Is it unpatriotic to hate the N.E. Patriots?

3:21….Race intro. Comparing the Chasers to bullriders? Pulleeze! “Cowboy up” and "Ain’t their first rodeo” in the same sentence? Pulleeze!
3:23….60 year old rock stars give the command to start your engines. Lame.
3:34…Green flag….finally!

3:36….YES!!! JJ loses it! Turn two, the Rattlesnake! Lap 3. Looks like Sam lost it and got into Jimmie. Upon further review, Reutimann tapped Hornish and sent him into Johnson.
3:44…Re-start, lap 19.
3:45…Kyle in third. Do I hear the theme from ‘Jaws’?

3:47….Split screen and timer on JJ’s repairs.
3:48….Carl Edwards, via radio, says that maybe the 48’s wreck will “teach the media” a lesson. What a clown.
3:49…Kurt leading, baby bruh in second.

3:51….Commercial with the man-made ‘meteors’. Druid from Verizon. Question, Why do some of them go into the ocean? Not sure I want a wireless service that sends messages where no one will see them.
3:53….Why no interview with JJ yet? He’s not Kyle, so it’s OK for him to dodge the media?
4:02…MNF promo.

4:06….Kurt +4 seconds ahead of Kyle.
4:07…Green flag pit stops begin. Lap 53.
4:09….Debris caution will come out as soon as everyone makes their pitstop?

4:11…Kyle 1st after stops. Surprise no debris!
4:20…Kyle still leading. JJ still in garage. NY Giants vs Chargers on CBS. Panthers @ Saints on Fox. I hear remotes clicking all over the country.
4:23….Keselowski won’t let the leader go by. Races Kyle hard. Give it up punk. Finally! BK pulls up 8 lanes out of Kurt’s way now, and waves him by like a matador. LOL!

4:25…Is Denny Hamlin even in this race? Oops, there goes Sudden Sam around again. The Texas Rattlesnake again! Who doesn’t love Brad Daugherty?
4:27….Great hand held camera shot straight down pit wall of all the crewmen ready to jump. New director in the truck?
4:28….12.2 seconds!! The M&Ms boys are smokin’. Just heard Hamlin’s name, one hour in.

4:39….Kyle still leading. Yawn.
4:41…I wish someone would call the SPCA on Bush’s Beans for dressing up that Goldie in their commercial. Ugh!
4:45….JJ back on track. Ugh.

4:46…Tim Brewer finally shows what the 48 crew did to JJ’s car. Go back to sleep, Tim.
4:50….Points update! If it ended now! But it won’t, right?
4:54….Jerry Punch trying to jinx Kyle? First to win three in one weekend at one track. No spit, Sherlock. We know!

4:59….Looking dark on TV in Texas. JJ 117 laps down. Punch does another Kylefecta promo.
5:00….Green flag stops again.
5:05….M&Ms crew, all stops in the 12 second range!

5:06….Punch is blathering something about Dale Jr. Yawn!
5:07…Kyle is a half a straightaway from lapping Jeff G. Don’t worry NASCAR won’t let that happen.
5:08….Dead man talking…Billy Mays for the ‘Tool Bandit’. Who doesn’t want to hold all their scissors, nails, and sharp tools right beside their jugular?

5:12…Debris caution…right as Kyle caught Gordon to put him a lap down. Hmmmmm! Who didn’t see that coming?
5:21….Kurt takes the lead on the restart.
5:22….99, 42, and 24, all Chasers, in the big one. JPM got loose, hit Carl. Jeff just lost it.

5:27…Is JPM blaming Kyle for his wreck? WTF?!
5:32….Restart. Kurt leading Kyle and Rooty.
5:43…Kurt still way out front. Yawn. Oh, let’s see the JJ wreck again…. For the sixteenth time!

5:45….Sorenson pancakes the right side. Mmmmm, pancakes! Where was I? Oh yeah, yellow is out.
5:46….The Candy Crew are still busting out the 12 sec stops!
5:51….Kyle, via radio, tells his crew, “We’re gonna win it.” Cocky or confident? I don’t care! Either one is good.

5:54….Restart. Kyle out in front of big bruh. I’d love for this to go green for the 120 laps that are left. NASCAR will NOT let that happen though.
5:56….Punch just gave points scenario for JJ by saying, “If the entire field wrecked right now.” Glad I don’t have a loaded gun lying around.
6:00….CMA Awards Wednesday on ABC. Really? I would have never known if not for the 11 commercials. Just let me know when Pickler’s onscreen.

6:08….NASCAR Super Store…. Office nerd in #18 shirt tells other nerd, “Stay outta the fast lane, bro.”
6:12…Kyle still leading Kurt. 88 laps to go. Martin up to 3rd. Don’t like the looks of that.
6:17…I may have to watch ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ tonight for the first time ever. Pickler in tight tee shirt. What a talent!

6:24…Green flag stop for Kyle with 65 laps to go. Has not gone that far on fuel all day. I predict he will this time. Won’t matter, as NASCAR will throw a debris caution with under 20 to go.
6:26….Kurt falls to 4th by staying out an extra lap or two on old tires. Won’t matter. See above.
6:29….Kyle thinks some lug nuts are loose. KRISTEN!

6:36….That right front tire did NOT look good!
6:47….Green flag stops for gas!
6:50…15 laps to go….still no debris! Will NASCAR screw Kyle?

6:52….Come on Kyle! Win one on mileage for the new crew chief!
6:55…Jr is out of gas with 7 to go. He’s stalling on pit road! Could bring out the yellow!
6:56…Rooty is out of gas! Jr is dead in the water. A 3,400 pound piece of debris on pit road. He’s moving now. Damn! No caution.

6:57…Kyle is out of gas!!!!Double damn!!! Why, why, oh why did they try and make it so far?
6:58…White flag for Kurt. Kyle is dead in the water now.
6:59…Kurt wins a million bucks for a lucky fan, as he wins the race.
7:01….The Kylefecta implodes two laps from the end.

That’s all folks. Unbelievable finish.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Right Sides Only

We are counting down the races until Jimmie Johnson's coronation in Miami later this month. We hit Texas this weekend then Phoenix, Miami, and beyond! Settle down Lightyear.

Just three more races until we get that ten week break to forget all that we deem wrong with NASCAR. In three months we'll be jonesing for Speed Weeks in Daytona to begin, and will have forgotten the Chase, the Dega Debacle, and JJ winning another title.

Petty Blue

Even though I'm far from a Petty fan, there is something about seeing the Petty Blue colors streaking along the high banks. Those colors bring back great memories from an innocent time when NASCAR seemed so fair and competitive.

RPM's #44, driven by AJ Allmendinger, will sport the legendary sky blue for this season's final three races. The car switches from Dodge to Ford and the rear panels will state...."Ford in Petty Blue". Awesome.

Toyotas R Us

Look for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to switch from Chevrolets to Toyotas once this season ends. They have been using RCR engines, and will switch to JGR supplied Toyota engines next year. EGR wanted more support from Chevy, and they just can't afford to do that at this time. With Toyota bleeding red, and pulling out of Formula One, Chip shouldn't get his hopes up too high about this new marriage.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

Surely the biggest story at Speed Weeks 2010 will be the stock car debut of the driving debutant, Danica Patrick. Litle Miss Can't be Wrong will be driving a JR Motorsports (HMS) Chevy in the Daytona ARCA race. Then, also in a JRM entry, will be competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race there on the day before the Daytona 500.

NASCAR will insist that she pass some sort of rookie test to be allowed in the NNS race. Riiiight! Her rookie test will consist of increasing ticket sales and TV ratings. That is if NASCAR has half a brain. And, that is open to debate.

Saving and/or Creating Jobs

The Administration released a report last week on all the jobs that it has supposedly created or saved. While these numbers are speculative at best, outright fabrication at worse, the Obama team reportedly wants to put thousands out of work by forcing Dodge and Chevy to get out of NASCAR.

This would 'save' a $250 million drop in the bucket, while trillions are still being poured out of the other end. Who did not see this coming? Most of NASCAR Nation did not, will not, drink the Kool-Aid so the Administration says, "Screw 'em."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

View From the Flagstand

Remember back in the day when your parents told you to leave your bedroom door open, and that they better see daylight in between you and your sweetie? It didn't work then, and, after Sunday's debacle, NASCAR is finding that it works no better now.

Shortly before the start of Sunday's plate race at Talladega NASCAR told the drivers that they better see daylight in between the front and back bumpers of the cars through the turns. It turned out to be easier said than done.

CHECKERED FLAG......Jamie McMurray led the most laps and happened to be out front when all hell broke loose behind him, TWICE, in the closing laps. It was McMurray's first win since July of 2007, and comes at a great time, as he is searching for a ride for next year.

GREEN FLAGS.....Greg Biffle earned his first top five finish at Talladega when he came home in 4th place. Michael Waltrip used the same strategy as our champion and finished 7th. Elliott Sadler ended up in 9th after driving through some wrecks. Bobby Labonte was 10th, and said the car was a total loss after hitting the wall on the last lap 'big one'.

YELLOW FLAGS.....Way too many drivers were taken out by what this race has become. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both joined the Talladega Frequent Flyer Club on Sunday. Kevin Harvick led the second most laps, and has nothing to show for it after getting caught up in both of the big wrecks.

RED FLAG.....NASCAR, again. They are in a tough spot. Trying to make the races safe, yet interesting, all the while hoping that the Jimmie and Chad Show doesn't drive off fans for good. There is nothing wrong with NASCAR ignoring the hundreds of ideas from the fans....most of us don't have a clue about what goes on behind the scenes.

The time is long past due for NASCAR to start including competitors, current and former, to the thought processes. If NASCAR wanted to restore any of their credibility they would hire a panel of ex-racers, car owners, and engineers, with input from current drivers, and let them come up with solutions to the problems inherent to restrictor plate racing. Then they could go on to the smaller stuff.

BLACK FLAG.....Brad Keselowski. In the last two races at Taladega, on the final lap of both, somehow, BK has hit the car in front of him to cause an ugly, airborne wreck.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Talladega Rant

The good news is that we aren't talking about Jimmie Johnson dominating another Chase race. No, we're talking about NASCAR trying to have an IROC or radio controlled race at it's biggest track.

In a feeble attempt to improve safety, NASCAR told the drivers to not touch each other through the turns at Talladega. Of course they waited until an hour before race time to reitterate this message. So, all the hours of testing, shop prep, set up, and practice were all for nought. Gee, that sounds safer already.

Six months ago Carl Edwards' car got turned around, became airborne, and almost went through the catch fence at Talladega. Some fans were injured by flying debris in the front stretch grandstand. Bump drafting did not cause that horiffic wreck......blocking did!

NASCAR has had six months to study that wreck, and others, and try to reduce them. Did they outlaw blocking? No! Instead, for some reason, they tell the drivers that touching another car in the turns will not be permitted. Zero tolerance! Uh, except for Brad Keselowski bumping Kurt Busch exiting turn four and causing the big one. That one was okay, I guess, because they were in overtime.

After finally being cut out of his car---after the #39 Chevy imitated a flapjack----Ryan Newman blasted NASCAR's out of touch edicts. Rightly claiming that there are several ways to keep the cars on the ground, but NASCAR doesn't care enough to ask the right people. Newman also stated that NASCAR doesn't respect today's drivers enough to let them race each other.

Even Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke out, telling the TV reporters that blocking is the cause of all the 'big ones', not bump drafting. Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon also let the public know that they were not happy with this style of racing at Talladega either. Bobby Labonte called the finish a joke.

Perhaps most telling about their supposed 'safety' concerns about bump drafting was Elliott Sadler's report on what NASCAR said in the driver's meeting. Sadler says that the drivers were told in that meeting that NASCAR did not want to see two cars lock up, and pull away from the pack. That doesn't sound like a safety issue. More of a, "we like to keep them all bunched up for the big one," issue.

You see, even though ESPN pays NASCAR millions of dollars to telecast it's races, unless there's a 'big one', NASCAR won't even get ten seconds on SportsCenter the night of the race. So, NASCAR and their TV partners conspire to keep the cars close during the races. Whether that be by the mystery debris, their backwoods timing system on pit road, giving all the cars the same horsepower on it's two largest tracks, or changing rules before, during, and after the races.

The 'big ones' will never be stopped at the restrictor plate tracks, but there are dozens of inexpensive ways to keep the cars on the ground. While also allowing quicker throttle response to let the cars get away from each other, and maybe then have three or four smaller drafts instead of the one giant 40 car draft we have now. Evidently NASCAR doesn't want that, though.