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!



  1. Sounds like Tony and Juan need to go sit down on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico and do some fishing and chill out. LOL

    Hey, Gene is Hanny isn't out spending some quality time with the CEO of NASCAR is he? lol

    Was glad to see Kyle win the Nationwide Series and Ron win the Truck. Sorry, can't say I was glad to see JJ win the cup again.

    But if someone doesn't step up, he will be the 5 time champ next season. YUCK!

  2. If next season is a repeat of this year I am going to take up Cricket.

  3. Good idea photo... Maybe we can start a petition for a merger of ABC and the BBC. Cricket would be an all day affair for the network, every Saturday, or Sunday? Such drama...

    I have a feeling, we'll get all excited during Speedweek in Daytona, foaming at the mouths for the Shoot Out, then by the time checkers fly on the 500, it'll just start looking like this year, all over again. Deja vu?

  4. Tsfan....It looked like Brian was outdoing I'm looking for someone new to have a monster year next season....anyone!

    Photo....I've met some girls named Cricket. Your going to take up with one? LOL

    It's almost to the point where any sport has more drama than NASCAR.

  5. CR....I give it until the following week at Fontana.

    NASCAR started some kind of fan group, to get input from 12,000 'fans'. After listening to Brian's blatherings Friday, I hope that wasn't the fans' input.

    Imagine how boring the races would have been this year if they had not changed to the double-file restarts.

    They need script writers....not 12,000 fans telling them stuff they already know, like there aren't enough bathrooms at Daytona.

  6. Great final piece this week. I have enjoyed these all year.

    There is nothing like the excitement that Speedweeks bring. Even though things get shuffled out soon enough, I like seeing those three race wonders at the start of the season.

  7. You aren't doing coke are you Gene!?!? LOL

    What to say...thank YOU for your View all year and keeping us entertained.

    JJ is amazing - I respect the dude immensely but someone has to learn to out race them. Maybe it will be JUUNNNIIIOOORRRR! =P

    I hope ESPN/ABC loses their nascar contract, as bad as Digger was at least FOX was on it.

    I will be jonesin' for racing by this weekend...and mostly trying to figure out where all my guys are going....

  8. JMayer....thanks, bro. The new season will be upon us before we know it. They don't get much of an offseason in NASCAR. I'm glad they have Daytona at the start of the season.

  9. Kristen....No, I can't afford it! LOL. I was thinking that he looked like he had been out late, drinking!

    True. All of us think that all Chad and JJ do are race the last 10 races. They've been doing it for FOUR years! If it's so easy, why hasn't another team even challenged them by now?

    I may try to write a couple of books this winter. If so, I'll post some excerpts here for the critics at LN&FA to check out.

  10. Thank you for sharing again. It truly is a pleasure to read. I too have seen the look from my mirror. I call it embracing my Irish pride. Can't fight it.
    Please let us know when you write

  11. At this point, I would even pull for Jeff Gordon, to have a banner year, as long as it keeps the 48 away from the championship. hahaha

    Now that is really being sick of the 48. hahaha

  12. Gene, other drivers have stepped it up in the chase but had great finishes/win or top 5 but also had few bad races like DNF's or in the teens. Carl Edwards last year was his till he booted his team mate.

    This year was Denny Hamlin, take away the first one when he came down on Montoya and I am sure he point races with JJ.

    The 48 team owns most of those 10 tracks so when they don't win they are a top 10 car for sure when the others end up in the top 20. That is where the 48 team beats them. Not alot of pressure on the 48 team when they know they are the class of the field on most of those 10 tracks that they will get some high points in races.

    Its pressure on the other teams that know they CAN NOT AFFORD A SLIP UP AT ANY OF THE TRACKS. cause even if the 48 team has one there average finish beats the others in those 10 races.


  13. Soca....I'll let you know. Now, how about you and Sadie? When are you going to write some more?

    Tsfan....OK, OK, lets not get carried away...LOL

  14. F-2....Some of those other teams/drivers have been in the Chase for the last four years....and they are no closer to beating the 48 team than they were 4 years ago.

    It just seems to me that other teams would emulate the 48.....
    1...Perfect your cookie cutter track setups.
    2...Don't worry about the 1st 26 races.
    3...Make the Chase.
    4...Win the title.

    Skoal and
    Happy Thanksgiving

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  16. hey photo, the first test between Australia and the West Indies starts up in about half an hour so if it goes the distance, you can relax and watch it for 5 full days! :D

    now if only I can figure out how to order the cricket network from Shaw....