Monday, November 8, 2010

View From The Flagstand

We have a new points leader with two races to go, as Denny Hamlin wins at Texas and surpasses Jimmie Johnson in the race for the championship. The fantastic racing in this year's Chase has been phenomenal even as TV ratings sag. Could the low ratings be the result of the top three in points all being rather unlikeable?


Hamlin's pit crew got him out up front on the last couple of stops, then he did the rest. That, fellow fans, is how to go for the win at the end. He simply wanted it more than anyone else. Brad Keselowski gave Dodge its first Nationwide championship, and he gave Roger Penske his first NASCAR title in any series.


Matt Kenseth took the lead on the final restart, but he couldn't hold on and ended up second. Mark Martin led some laps and was third at the end. Joey Logano came home fourth after leading 30 laps. Greg Biffle led the most laps before his faulty transmission relegated him to fifth. David Ragan was 8th, and Paul Menard finished 10th.


How about Jeff Burton wrecking Jeff Gordon under caution at Texas? Everyone watching at home (but not the ESPN announcers) could see Burton ram Gordon's car, then keep the accelerator floored. This led to a small schoolyard type fracas between the two. Did Burton just flip, or did Gordon do something earlier?


Are JJ and Kevin Harvick beginning to wilt under the cool pressure from the JGR #11 team? The #11 crew chief, Mike Ford, intentionally chose the pit box directly in front of JJ's at Texas. When you force the other team to change crews in the middle of a race, you are definitely putting the hurt on them.

Harvick whined until he got his crew changed a couple of weeks ago. Sunday he was whining about the new one. The fans also got to hear owner, Richard Childress, second guessing Harvick's crew chief, Gil Martin, live over the in-car radio. While I would never count Chad Knaus out of anything, I have the feeling that the RCR #29 is on the brink of an implosion.


I have defended Kyle Busch's youthful exuberance on many occasions. There is no excuse for what he did while serving a speeding penalty at Texas. Flipping off a NASCAR official? Seriously? That official had nothing to do with Kyle's speeding penalty, anyway.

I love the fire and the will to win, but you're a professional, in the workplace. A professional doesn't disrespect others. I wouldn't have disagreed with him being parked for the rest of the race on Sunday. Keep the temper on the track, not off.


  1. Fantastic race. This was a fun one and keeps things tight going into Phoenix. I wonder if Kyle would have been penalized if the T.V. cameras hadn't caught his gesture.

  2. do you think Gil was tempted to say "what do you think about 4 now?" on the radio when Harvick was marching towards the front?

  3. The two Jeffs have got to be the most unlikely of combatants, but there they were. Too bad Burton was so conciliatory... and too bad it was Gordon he punted. Where's that 48 when you need him?

    Hamlin's looking good. Did you notice the 11 team chose to pit right next to the 48 team? That's intimadation. What happened? The 48 pit crew came unglued... Very out of character. I also liked what Hamlin said after the race and looking forward to Phoenix. "I'm gonna race like I'm 33 points down instead of up."

    I think Kyle needs to fly out to San Francisco after the season and do a little anger management with our favorite psychologist... I think he can afford it. Maybe not... LOL

    Thanks Gene!

  4. I can imagine that little chat, Dwindy -
    KV: the problem lies with...
    KB: I know you're going to say 'with my mother'.
    KV: no, I was going to say 'with you since you're an obnoxious little brat and I hope your borther rubs in the fact that he's won a Cup title while you haven't so neener neener neener' actually.


  5. tez do you really think she'd say neener neener neener? LOL That's funny!

  6. JM.... it was an interesting one. This whole Chase has renewed my interest in NASCAR.

    I think they would have penalized him even without the camera catching him. They should have anyway.

  7. tez.... Those crew chiefs have to put up with a lot of second guessing... but from the owner... during a race. Puleeze!

    I would love to hear Dr V's diagnosis on

  8. Dwindy.... I thought it was funny that they both had to ride back in the same ambulance.

    Hamlin does seem to be the most relaxed of the three challengers.

    Are you trying to say that KLV's rates are steep? LOL

  9. I wouldn't count out Harvick just yet. He always runs well at Phoenix and Sunday will be no different. He HAS TO WIN on Sunday to have ANY chance of catching Hamlin or Johnson. Top 5 won't do him any good if Hamlin and Johnson finish ahead of him. But I think it's Hamlin's turn to wilt a bit. While I think Hamster will finish in the top 10, both Johnson and Harvick will finish ahead of him. (Harvick finishes a couple of spots ahead of Johnson, setting up an EPIC finale!)

  10. Jon.... I never watch the Homestead race. The season is always over before they get there. This year will be different! It would be sweet if all three drivers were just a handful of points apart.

  11. K might say neener neener neener now I've written it...I see I can't spell 'brother' right, oops.

    Gene; Gil could have pulled it off if he said it real sarcastically...I know I would have just to rub it in a tiny bit, LOL!

  12. First of all, any professional working out of a shop in San Francisco, has got to be expensive. Neener, neener, neener... lol

    Kyle will win Phoenix. JJ, Harvick and Hamlin will have unusual bad luck. Tony and Ryan will finish top 5. I see it all. I'm the great, all powerful see'r of the future!

    Actualy, the pit crew change is gonna pump the 48 up. He'll be strong, until the bad luck I eluded to kicks in. Speaking of which, did I mention Kyle was gonna win the race? LOL

  13. CR... Why not leave the Kyle jinxing up to Dwindy? He did an excellent job of it by picking the Kylefecta in Texas. lol

    If Kyle wins Denny will probably take his pit crew for Homestead. LOL

  14. Okay Gene...

    I pick you to in the 2010 Trifecta! LOL

  15. Neeener neener NEEENEEEER! =P

    Come on, Kyle's too easy to diagnose! =) I don't even think he was truly angry when he flipped off the official just indignant at what he thinks was unfair treatment - the word "special" comes to mind. The brothers are very special...LOL

    You wanna talk anger management - woohoo Jeffy G lost it! Man I loved that! Did you see Kenseth's quote asking if he (Gordon) took his helmet off this time...classic.

    These guys could definitely afford me AND would be getting a fee increase to make up for the emotional suffering I would have to put up with...

    Man oh man I am BUMMED to not be going to PHX this year - stupid work conference and unfortunately hubby's grandma died and her service is Sat. But there is always DAYTONA BABY!

  16. Oh and speaking of psychological smack downs - poor JJ's crew. Based on what I have seen in the pits and how each team lives and dies by the pride of their performance, they may never recover from MasterMind's maneuver. That was brutal.

    I've seen guys unable to pull it together to perform after missing a lug, let alone getting pulled and having to tear down someone else' pit box. O.U.C.H!

  17. KLV... I didn't think Kyle was angry either. Just did something that kids do instead of thinking about why he was in that situation. 25 is old enough to stop flipping off authority figures.

    I thought replacing JJ's crew was a brilliant move by Chad... if they were back for the next two races... but they won't be. Unrepairable? If JJ does win the title, how will the crew 'shares' and bonuses be paid out?

    Condolences on grandma.

  18. Kristen... I may see Kurt in Rockingham soon. He's entered in the street stocker race on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

  19. Man I would not want to be part of HMS "happy crew family" at the moment. I agree! Who gets to go to Vegas as champ crew? Who gets the bonus and the rings? Man the Penske crew gets bent out of shape for having to share their winnings with the other two teams I cannot imagine how JJ's guys feel....

    Kurt should be laid back and fun to interview at Rockingham - have fun chatting him up!

  20. Kristen, my condolences on your husband's loss.

    There are NO mulligans at Phoenix. You make one mistake, you're finishing 25th or worse. You cut a tire under green, you go two laps down and you don't recover from that. I think Hamster begins to feel the pressure about halfway through the race, particularly if he's not running well and JJ and Happy are dominant.