Tuesday, August 3, 2010

View From The Flagstand

Thankfully we did not have the View this week that Elliott Sadler had. Instead, we had our usual wet time on the Flagstand in Pocono. The rains stayed away long enough to insure that we would not have a surprise winner, and the final top-10 looked like a Chase preview.


Greg Biffle seems to be returning to form, as he persevered and was strong at the end for his first victory in almost two years. It was also Ford's first win since last October, and their first non-restrictor plate win since race two of 2009. Biffle's team owner, Jack Roush missed the race, as he's still hospitalized after a hard plane landing in Wisconsin.


As previously mentioned, the top-10 were all Chase regulars, Mark Martin (7), and Martin Truex (9) being the only ones not already in the Chase top 12. Sam Hornish came home 11th after staying out during the last caution. Hornish led 9 laps as he prayed for the rain that never fell hard enough. Shoutout to Paul Menard (13) and David Ragan (14). Maybe they're getting the hang of this finishing thing?


For at least the third time in just over a year, Jimmie Johnson has barreled right through Kurt Busch. Sunday, going down the backstretch, JJ "bump drafted" Busch out of the race. That is, if you call lifting someone's rear wheels off the asphalt "bump drafting". There seems to be a sense of entitlement among the HMS drivers, particularly JJ and Jeff Gordon. A, "I'm a four-time champ. I can just knock anyone out of my way, but don't even think of doing it to me." Eight titles does earn some entitlements, I suppose.


Elliott Sadler's horrific crash that somehow, with dozens of cameras, and nine in-car cams, ESPN still missed. This wreck was an ultimate test of the COT, the new seats, belts, and HANS device. It seems that they all passed with honors. Sadler was uninjured after coming to a sudden stop, head-on, at 180 MPH. Since Sadler is the biggest driver in Cup racing, I'm wondering if his size helped him escape internal injuries, or if his mass increases that chance? Any doctors, engineers, or crash scene re-creators want to weigh in on that one?


Just one day after Greg Biffle said that someone was going to get killed on Pocono's backstretch, Sadler's car was destroyed by an inexplicably designed, deathtrap of a guard rail along that backstretch. Pocono should not be allowed any more races until the grassy area alongside the track is paved over, or at least, graded down to a level surface. No excuse in 2010 for cars to be going 200 mph... TWO feet from a cow pasture!

All metal guard rails must also be replaced with SAFER barriers, not just at Pocono... but at every track that wants to remain on NASCAR's schedule. Including this week's track, Watkins Glen. The Glen is still using metal railings and rubber tires from the 1960s as crash barriers.

Now is not a great time for track owners to be sinking millions of dollars into safety upgrades, but the drivers should be NASCAR's first concern. Based on past performance, don't expect anything to happen overnight.


  1. I can hear the owner at Pocono apoligizing, but being sorry don't cut it!

    The drivers were pushing for position when the threat of rain become an issue, then JJ takes liberties with Kurt... They were damned lucky it wasn't a Nationwide car Sadler was driving, that's for sure.

    The owners at Pocono need to have an ultimatum laid on them; Either resurface that track and install up to date safety features or sell it to someone who will... That's easy for me to say, ever mindful of what your old buddy Willie used to say, "It's the economy, stupid!"

    Thank goodness for the COT.

  2. Isn't this a little bit of double standards? The vast majority of people hate this car yet whenever its safety is proved without a shadow of a doubt, they all turn around and say how great it is....just saying.

  3. Dwindy... Yes, the rain just added to the usual late-race chaos that occurs almost weekly.

    Willie and I had some good times, better than now. But John Kerry is still my hero... married twice... to billionaires both times!

  4. Tez... I've never had a problem with the COT. Never cared for the rear wing or the front splitter, but I was never one of the many calling for a return to the old car.

    Once the splitter is gone, and they change the noses (ala NW series) I doubt anyone will be dissing the COT.

  5. completely agree, Gene...and yeah, we can only hope, lol

  6. On your question of wheather Sadler's size increased, or decreased the possiblity of internal injury; We have no idea if Elliot's molecular structure has been altered. I mean, in quantum physics, an electron bound in an atomic orbital has quantized values of angular momentum while an unbound electron does not exhibit quantized energy levels. Who's to say that Elliot isn't walking around with a bunch of rogue electrons zooming willy nilly all over his entire being? I'm not a doctor, nor a physicist, but I have stayed at Holiday Inn before, and I think I might be on to something here, or on something anyway! lol

  7. CR... thanks...I had to go to a backup computer. The other one blew up trying to decipher your theory.

    I went to the grocery store and found the answer anyway. I dropped two watermelons, from a height of five feet. Melon A weighed 15 pounds. Melon B weighed ten pounds. Guess which one had the most damage?

  8. Don't believe I ever bad mouthed the COT for what it was designed to do. I am sorry the individual manufacturer looks were wiped out in the process. Now I think NASCAR is going to transform to a new COT that will once again take on the appearance of Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Toyota, and I'm pretty sure the vast majority of the fans are in favor of that. How the line go in the Six Million Dollar Man? We have the technology...

    CR, how many car wrecks have you lived through?lol

  9. Sorry Gene, you don't seem to be having much luck with computers this summer! That's a waste of watermelon, but I'll say the big one made a bigger mess.

    Dwindy, I was in one wreck. I was 7 and my sister rolled a VW Beetle down a hill. I remember being very dizzy, and my head hurt for a week at least. Found out when I was an adult, that I actualy have some damaged vertibrae in my neck as a result. My sister had minor injuries.

  10. sorry Dwindy, I wasn't singling you out (I hadn't even read your comment to be honest), I just meant fans in general :(

  11. No prob tez...

    CR, My buddies and I wrecked three old cars in one afternoon on purpose when I was in high school. Living out in the country there in Central Cal. we rolled a smudge pot out onto the pavement and dumped the diesel out of it, then, in all our wisdom, we'd take an old wreck that we'd got running and yank the wheel at about 35 MPH once we hit the oil and see how many times it would roll! These brother friends of mine had a yard full of old junkers. We were always foolin around with 'em. Boy did we catch hell that night when their dad came home!

    I've only been in one real accident when a guy ran a light one night in Visalia and T-boned my '67 Mustang. My girlfriend and I were lucky and unhurt, but the car was totalled! Not a happy camper...

  12. There were plenty of people crying about the COT a couple of years ago, no doubt. It was pointless back then. NASCAR was not going to revert back to the old car, but I recall dozens of bloggers, and 100s of commenters, whining as if they knew better than NASCAR how to design a car,

  13. Great view again this week. Totally agree on all the safety stuff. Here's hoping NASCAR looked more into how bad the safety of the track is instead of how well the car held up in the accident. But hey, a pat on the back is always nice, right?

  14. JM... Agree, that track is a lot more unsafe than the car is.

  15. I'm with ya, CR! Who's working in these infield care centers? I'd been asking for a total body scan MRI thing the next morning! Why isn't Dr. Punch working in the care centers and someone else calling the race?lol

  16. ATH... when they interviewed Sadler so soon after the wreck, I was thinking that there was no way they had enough time to x-ray and scan him. Barely enough time for a doctor to examine him at all.

  17. Yep, after a crash like that, it's hard to believe "everything's fine", without some real medical testing.