Tuesday, April 13, 2010

View From The Flagstand

We had to head way out west to the Valley of the Sun to finally get a race in without rain playing a part in the schedule. Saturday night's event in Phoenix followed our usual script: whoever is out front looks unbeatable at the time, then a late caution, various pit strategies, and of course, a Green, White, Checkered finish.


Ryan Newman led the last four laps after a two tire stop had him up front with the leaders for the G,W,C. This resulted in Newman's first win in over two years. After an unbelievable win in the NNS on Friday night, Kyle Busch was on his way to the twin win at Phoenix on Saturday until a late caution and another questionable pit call saw victory slip away.


Jimmie Johnson (3rd), and Juan Montoya (5th) both led over a hundred laps at Phoenix. RFR's Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards were 6th and 7th respectively. After at least a dozen mentions of his 'good run' by the Foxheads on TV, Robby Gordon ended up 14th. I suppose that is noteworthy, for him.


Denny Hamlin went flag to flag after his knee operation 10 days prior. He never contended, and finished two laps down. He had Casey Mears standing by to take the wheel if needed. Apparently, Denny didn't think Mears was needed. Does he really think that Mears wouldn't have kept up with the other 27 cars that did complete every lap?


The idiotic Free Pass and Wave Around rules during every caution. Twenty-Seven cars finished on the lead lap. Without those handouts there probably would have been ten to twelve on the lead lap at race's end. So, if you are one of those 10-12 that work hard to stay up front, and have a flat tire or something at the end of the race, now you have 26 cars ahead of you instead of 9. Obama might like this redistribution, but I don't. Fair is where you go for corn dogs and midway rides.


Nothing new, so, once again, Fox's broadcast team. Darrell Waltrip drags down everyone around him. Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds aren't that bad... when ol' D Dub ain't around. I was thinking during Saturday's race, 'how much longer will he be on the air?" I didn't like my answer.


  1. I tend to agree with you on the free pass and wave around. NASCAR seems to be mellowing with age with those new procedures. Also, I understand how dangerous it was, but I liked it when they could race back to the flag for caution. I still think the start/finish line and pit out line should be the only lines that matter on the track anyway. Not lines that only computers can see.

  2. I don't mind the wave around rule....if you take the gamble and not pit, then have it go green for a while, you're in trouble anyway, lol

    besides, how else could Villeneuve have won the only Indy 505 ever raced? ;)

  3. BTW it's only light beer for me until summer. Still working off the cruise ship excess.

    Another "so close...so far" for JPM. Finish, Juan, Finish! Maybe I should have written that in Spanish...

    Maybe it's time to put Terry Bradshaw on the Fox racing team and put DW on the NFL pregame show. They both bring about the same to each right now.

  4. I don't mind the free pass rule, but I think the wave around is as stupid as you do. Now, the leader has to re-lap all those not-so-good cars every time there is a restart.

    FOX needs to put Jeff Hammond up in that booth. He has better analysis than any of the others...

  5. J Mayer.... I think they should race back to the yellow also. It added some excitement sometimes. NASCAR seems intent on removing strategy from the equation... except for how many tires to take for the G,W,C....lol

    Tez...the Wave Around is fine for the IRL. Except for Indy they only start half as many cars as NASCAR.

  6. Mose...Do they make light Tequila? Agreed, Bradshaw is almost unwatchable when he's doing his shtick. He still knows football, but he thinks he's an entertainer instead of an analyst.

    Gonger....If they kep the Free Pass, could they at least have a one mulligan per race rule? I swear I've seen Jr get it 3 or 4 times in one race...lol

    Hammond would be better than what they have.

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  8. Gene, good view as usual. Gonger is on to something on his suggestion of Jeff Hammond replacing DW in the booth. To answer your question on the Yellow Flag: YES. Mears has been with both Hendrick and RCR, two elite organizations, and more often than not he finished laps down.

  9. Jon....My red Flag category would have assured Mears to finish on the lead lap. I'm pretty sure he would have kept up at Phoenix with other lead lap cars such as R Gordon, Labonte, R Smith, and Speed. Even Scott Riggs was still on the lead lap until his late mishap. The Wave Around lets mediocre drivers and teams stay on the lead lap all race long.

    I saw yesterday where Hamlin said he knew he was done when he went 2 laps down, but he didn't get out because he didn't want his crew to think he quit on them. I'm sure they'll be happy with him if they miss the Chase by 10 or 12 points.

  10. What has happened to the broadcasts of these races...let MRN do the voice over and FOX and ESPN just show us pretty pictures and occasionally the racing.

    I find it very interesting that Denny thinks on some level his team would think that he is laying down. I get why Dale Jr reacted to the laying down comments by Lance so strongly given his performance of late but Hamlin??? Makes me recall how crappy he has treated his crew in the past (a little a-la Kurt) or in the very least wonder how gel'ed that team really is.

  11. KLV....I wonder the same thing about the chemistry on the 11 team...hell, all the JGR teams. I also wonder if Denny hadn't won at Martinsville (and revitalized his Chase hopes) would he have stayed in the car at Phoenix.

    I believe Denny thought this was his chance to show that he can be a team player. Not the best time to do it in my opinion.