Tuesday, November 2, 2010

View From The Flagstand

This week's View from central Alabama was incredible. Would you believe 87 lead changes, in 188 laps, among 26 drivers. Yes, more than half the field of 43 starters led at least one lap. The 87 lead changes, at the start finish line, is the second most ever in a NASCAR Cup race.


Clint Bowyer won his second Chase race this year when he had his nose just ahead of Kevin Harvick's as the yellow flew on the last lap. Bowyer's RCR Chevy was plenty potent all day long as he paced the field on 9 different occasions.


Besides Bowyer, the other two RCR Chevys were very fast as well. Harvick was 2nd, and Jeff Burton may have had the fastest car in the field before being wrecked by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Jr led the most laps, for the first time in two and a half years. The JGR Toyotas were all on point as well. David Reutimann had an awesome car and wound up 4th. Paul Menard led some and was the highest finishing Ford, in 13th.


Two years ago Carl Edwards caused the Big One when he wrecked Greg Biffle with a half assed, bump drafting attempt in the turn at Talladega. Edwards was crucified on TV by several drivers, most notably Harvick. Sunday, Dale Jr did virtually the same bump and wreck technique to Burton. Yet, not a peep from the competitors. In fact, Burton went as far as to take the blame for Jr wrecking him. Hmmmm. What gives? Is Kyle the only one not afraid to poke a stick at Jr Nation?


Why can't "the best drivers in the world" race back to the checkered flag? Unless there is actually a disabled car sitting on the start finish line, why not?

BLACK FLAG @ Halfmast

RIP, Jim Hunter. Jim was a VP for NASCAR in Daytona, but he was much more. He attended Thee U of South Carolina, then went on to be a journalist (he wrote some great racing books like, '21 Forever') and worked in public relations before going to work for NASCAR.

He may be best remembered as the president of Darlington Raceway from 1993-2001. Google some old pictures of Dale Sr with a Darlington straw hat, he got those from Jim.

Jim loved the fans, and it showed. It wasn't just an act. If he said something, you could believe he meant it. He was the type of man that made you feel better for having met him. They are few and far between. Corporate NASCAR has lost its last honest man.


  1. Do you reckon 'dega will ever put lights in for a night race, Gene?

  2. Hearing some of the comments from the drivers about Jim was moving. Some, like Harvick, gave Jim credit for their success. He had a way of understanding the talented, young hot heads, and helping them to see the big picture. He gave so much heart to the sport, and he'll be missed.

    Gene, I can't get on FB at work. But I got an email notification about your big blowout gifting venture. I'll take anything you want to give. Hope you're not joining some monestary in Napal, or something! lol

    Gino gave so much time to MW, and he'll be missed too! :P

  3. What... no write-in candidate on your poll? Looks like a close race!

  4. I guess I'm a minority of one but draft racing just doesn't seem like racing to me...

    I'd LOVE to see these teams turned loose without the restrictors but I understand that even these cars can't withstand wrecks at 230 MPH... Do you think the drivers would still be prone to drafting on these long super speedways?

    Hang in Gene...

  5. Tez... I dunno. Seems as if they could do it at Daytona they could do it there too. I wouldn't mind watching it.

    One snag would be the fans attending the night race. They already love to party... a night race would give them 10-12 more hours to drink before leaving the track.

  6. CR... I thought about including 'other' in the poll... but decided not to insult anyone's intelligence. lol

  7. D-One.... They started drafting at Daytona in 1959 when they were going 170 MPH. They were drafting there when speeds easily topped 200 MPH.

    There is an art to drafting. Hardly ever any fluke winners on the plate tracks. In the last 20 years anyway. Just like road, short, or flat tracks, the super-speedways require talent and experience.

    I can't remember which driver said it, but when asked if restrictor plate racing was hard he said, "You go out there for three hours, with a concrete wall six inches from one side of your car, and some cat named Swervin' Irvan six inches from the other side, and tell me it's not hard."

  8. Sorry so late to the party...

    NASCAR lost an amazing person and ambassador in Jim Hunter - he was even nice to me in the garages! Always smiling, positive and practical. Everyone loved him and he will be missed.

    Burton was probably trying to gain some fans rather than avoid wrath. Watching Junebug make such a rookie mistake was painful - ugh, he used to do no wrong on these restrictor plates!

    Fun to see Slidin Sam up front...man I hope he gets a ride next year.

    Whats this about a FB gifting venture??

  9. Totally agree on all points. I wish they could still race back to the line, but the overriding safety issue will never go away. I think that's still why we have the pain-in-the-butt "yellow line" rule.