Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Right Sides Only

After a week off, the stars and cars of the Sprint Cup Series return to action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was a nice time for everyone, fans included, to recharge a little bit in mid-season. Too bad that The Brickyard is not well known for close finishes (or racing) in this series. It is a great track for the open wheelers, maybe their best for action, but for the stockers, not so much.

Yet, every driver in NASCAR's elite series dreams of adding Indy to their bucket list. Just for name value alone, they all want this one. They all say that the Daytona 500 is the only event that's bigger than the Brickyard 400.

Creme de la Creme

There are no fluke winners in the Brickyard. There have been 16 Brickyard 400s, and 14 of those have been won by Series Champions, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, and Bill Elliott. Ricky Rudd is the only Brickyard winner who has not won either a championship or a Daytona 500 to go along with it. Along with Rudd, Kevin Harvick is the only other Indy winner without a title.

A Three-fer?

Chip Ganassi won the Indy 500 earlier this year with Dario Franchitti drinking the milk. Ganassi also won the Daytona 500 earlier this year with Jamie McMurray dodging (Chevroleting?) the pothole. It would be unprecedented, and, possibly unmatchable, if McMurray or Juan Montoya were to pull off the triple crown of racing this week. Remember last year, Montoya "missed it by that much, Chumley".

Have At It, Boys

On Wednesday NASCAR announced penalties for Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski from their last lap hijinks last week at Gateway. Both were placed on probation until Dec 31. Doesn't the season end six week before then? Edwards also lost 60 driver, and owner points, and was fined a whopping $25,000. About the same as a $25 jaywalking fine to you or me. BFD!

Just one day after they were put on blast for sinking ratings and attendance, NASCAR hoses down the only excitement they have going. Who's running this place, Barry O? By placing both drivers on probation NASCAR guarantees that they won't come within 20 feet of each other from here on out. "We'd like to let the drivers settle it themselves, but our lawyers and insurance companies said no."

Indy Items

AJ Allmendinger makes his 100th Cup start this week at Indy. He has one top-5.

Bobby Labonte makes his 600th consecutive start.

Former F-1 champ, and Indy 500 winner, Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400 in the #32 Toyota for Braun Racing. If he makes the show he will join Montoya as the only drivers to race at Indy in the 500, the Brickyard 400, and the U.S. Grand Prix.

Wheaties Fuel will be on the #33 of Clint Bowyer this weekend.

Four drivers have competed in every Brickyard 400. Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, and who?

Four drivers are four-time winners at Indy. AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears, and Jeff Gordon. One other driver has five Indy wins. Any guesses?


  1. At least there will be a race this weekend. That week off took forever. Plus, I missed all of the racing at Gateway.

    Jeff Burton?

  2. Hey Gene!

    Let's see... How about Bill Elliott on all the 400s... And... Barney Oldfield! Yeah, that's right! LOL

    Yesterday, with all the press coverage, I was thinking what you wrote about today. All the upset between Brad and Carl has gotten NASCAR air time on many of the media outlets that don't normally follow the sport so what does NASCAR do? They shoot themselves in the foot. These guys just need to keep their mouths shut and let the chips fall...

    Thanks Gene.

  3. JV also won the Indycar title that year :)

  4. JM.... I'm sure you've seen the replays of the incident in

    Right on the guess!

  5. Dwindy.... Leave it to NASCAR to look a gift horse in the

    Wrong on both guesses.

  6. Tez.... yes, he was the CART champ the same year he won Indy.

    I had you down as the man with the answer to the last question. Come on now, bro.

  7. Gene, I was thinking about the Ganassi three-fer today. It could happen with either Montoya or McMurray. But my race winner is: Kevin Harvick. He bounces back from a horrendous Chicago race and increases his lead by about 10 points because Jeff Gordon finishes in the top 5.

  8. Gene: oh, that's easy - Michael Schumacher.

  9. Wonder if there is a cap on how much insurance a Nascar driver can get? Just wondered.

    For inquiring minds or maybe just Moseby(lol), this was on! Juan Pablo Montoya & his wife Connie welcomed a baby girl on Monday (July 19).

    Great post, Gene!

  10. Jon.... I'm going with JPM. He has a different entry to the turns at Indy, more open wheel style, than the other drivers. And, it seems that he has it figured out.

  11. Tez.... Correctamundo

    ATH... I'm sure if they can afford the premiums, they can buy as much insurance as they want.


  12. Is it really any shock that Jon is picking Harvick? LOL

    I'm going with Big Daddy - although JPM is on my team too...

    I hope these guys have a good neurologist for later in life - look at what they have found with retired footballers - drivers are gonna need some extra care too me thinks.

  13. KLV... Yeah Jon shocked the world! LOL

    The brain study on ex-NFLers is sad. Guys shouldn't be having full blown dementia in their early 50s... I hope not. The ex-Bengal who died last year, Chris Henry, found to have had multiple concussions... maybe dating back to pee-wee football... yet, was never diagnosed with any!

    The HANS device is probably the single greatest safety item to come along in racing since the roll cage. So maybe these younger drivers want have their brains scrambled when they retire.

  14. Mind you, Schumi got lucky in 2005 since there were only 6 cars on the track after that Michelin debacle and Bernie's stubborness about not putting a chicane in, lol

    hmm, that leaves me to be the one who will hopefully jinx Vader....very well then, this will be a toughie given he likes this place but I shall try my best to take one for the team.

  15. Gene, the HANS device works great for protecting the neck. But, unfortunatly, the only thing restraining the grey matter, is the trusty old skull. Have a feeling the brain is taking more of a beating with all of the wrecks despite the HANS, and safety walls.

    JPM, or Jeff Gordon wins it. Hamlin, JJ, and Tony top 5.

  16. I'm telling ya, JPM is going to be preoccupied thinking about the new baby, just like JJ was the week his was born! just saying....

  17. CR... The H in HANS stands for head. It actually keeps the helmet from slamming into hard objects. In the old (not that long ago) days, the drivers head would bounce off roll bars, steering wheels, concrete walls through the window, etc.

    Not very long ago the seat belts would actually stretch under tremendous G forces from a sudden halt of forward motion. In the late 1990s Ken Schrader's sternum was fractured by his steering wheel in a 125 at Daytona, without breaking the belts. His chest actually bent the steering wheel like a taco. No way he could have touched their steering wheels like that when strapped in with the car at rest.

    I read a report once that claimed that the old five point harness belts in the 1980s and 90s could stretch up to two feet without breaking, and snap back to normal. That seems like a lot, but it's possible I suppose.

    The brain may still be getting whipped around like an egg beater inside the skull, but it's not hitting anything outside.

  18. ATH... JPM is a real man, its not his first kid, he won't be distracted.

    JJ was going to miss a race to be there for the birth... what a wuss! 1000s of servicemen overseas probably wish they could ditch their job to be there for their kids, but they have a real job, JJ.

  19. I'm staying away from babyscoop - JPM and his wife not withstanding.

    I said this a few weeks ago and I'll say it again - Where has Labonte been for the last 250 starts?

    It's Beer-Thirty!

  20. Moseby.... babyscoop, indeed. Sounds like an invention to assist in changing diapers.

  21. copy & paste:

    :p - Mose

    :p - Han