Monday, May 10, 2010

View From The Flagstand

Denny Does Darlington....twice. Denny Hamlin looks to be a legitimate contender to Jimmie Johnson's title reign, as the Hampster doubled up at Darlington last weekend. Hamlin tamed the track too tough to tame on successive nights in his JGR Toyotas.


Hamlin won the pole and the NNS race on Friday night, then covered the field the next night in the Cup event. Just a month after knee surgery, Hamlin has surged upward in the points standings, and seems to have his swag on for the Race to the Chase.


Jamie McMurray was 3rd on Friday, and 2nd on Saturday after starting P-1. J Mac led 71 laps and was never out of the top-10. Jeff Gordon once again led over 100 laps without winning, as he rode to a 4th place finish. After starting dead last, in a backup car, Kyle Busch went to 1st a little past halfway before settling for 7th. Jeff Burton was solid all night until a late race penalty left him to finish 8th.


Jimmie Johnson suffered his third DNF of the season. Over the last four seasons, all championships, JJ had seven DNFs total. Martin Truex Jr was involved in some questionable driving tactics all night long. He somehow managed to hang around the top-10 most of the race before finishing 19th, the first car one lap down.


Former series champion, Bobby Labonte did not look good out there Saturday night. He was involved in at least three caution flags. Everybody likes Labonte, but it hurts to watch a champion playing out the string like this.


I love to learn about the history of NASCAR's legacy tracks....but, if I hear the words 'minnow pond' one more time I'll blow a head gasket. We've all heard the story of why Darlington has the weird egg shape....100 times! Did we really need to hear it again ten more times on Saturday?



  1. Hey Gene!

    What's the story on the egg shaped track? LOL
    I had to work and missed most of the race (the final 2/3rds). When I left it Kyle had worked his way up from near last at the start and was near the top 10 based on a "Right Sides Only" pit stop and then his ability. I was sorry later to hear he finished what, 7th? Not that bad I guess but I thought he might challenge for the win... Oh well.

    Thanks man!

  2. I wonder what is up with Truex - I know his crew is top notch - not sure why he cant drive anymore!? Maybe he has a girlfriend too.

    Smoke is 18th in the standings and losing a sponsor - new team may not be as easy as it looked last year. Speaking of blowing a gasket...we might see him lose it soon!

  3. Dwindy.... not much shame in starting 43rd and finishing 7th, plus leading some laps.

    You see, there was this minnow pond.....

  4. Good review. I'm kinda glad Johnson's car was there to stop the dinger from backing straight up into the wall. Scary wreck and if the safety standards weren't what they are we may have had another Larry Pearson situation.

  5. KLV...I always though Truex was way underrated and that he would win ome this year with it looks like he should have stayed with Chippy G.

    Tony has SIX consecutive starts with finishes of worse than 15th! Kinda gives you a warm feeling right here.

  6. In case you missed it, the minnow pond....
    pretty funny!

    I was thinking the same thing about Labonte. hard to watch him go through this faze. I still don't know how he dropped so far in regards to good car owners. It was like he fell off the face of the earth after Gibbs, like he had the plague or something.
    Meanwhile we see all these new young drivers given a chance with good cars and they can't touch Labonte's skill. I thought Martin's success might open something up for the guy.

  7. JM...that was a scary lick that AJ and JJ took. AJ definitely had a weird entry line into the turn with no brakes.

  8. FBall...Yeah, I think Bobby can still get it done. Put him in that #88, and we'd see if that team's problem is the car or the driver...LOL

    I grew up in the South and I have yet to see a minnow pond anywhere. Pow! Just blew both gaskets.

  9. Hey Gene, good View as usual. I'd give another green flag to my boy Harvick. He started 35th and nearly stole a top 5. (He was edged out by JPM.) It was his first top 10 finish at Darlington since the 2003 Southern 500, when he finished second.

    I'd give a Yellow flag to Harvick's teammate, Clint Bowyer. Brake issues forced him to the garage and by the time he returned he was many laps down.

  10. Jon....I had to hand out green flags to drivers that led more than 2 laps...LOL!

    Bowyer slid down in the points, and it is crowded down there.

  11. It's still a bit too early to be counting Tony out just yet. Check back in a couple of months. Katie will be blogging about this soon.

    Like the poll question. Katie is busy doing her part to keep the NASCAR world safe from post race backflips.