Monday, April 4, 2011

View From The Flagstand

Plenty of questions were raised going into Sunday's 500 lapper at Martinsville. Among them, would the Goodyear tires hold up on the tight half mile track? They did alright. Would Denny Hamlin kick it up a notch? He was up front most of the day until a late pit stop cost him positions. Could Carl Edwards lead his first lap here? He led three, during green flag pit stops.


Kevin Harvick won his second in a row. Two wins in a row, while leading seven laps total in the two races. As long as he keeps leading the last ones it looks like he is the man to beat, for now.


Dale Earnhardt Jr took the lead late on Sunday, and it seemed like his 99 race winless run was about to end until Harvick regulated him to second place at the end. Kyle Busch took over the points lead and came home third after leading the most laps. Juan Montoya (3rd), Matt Kenseth (6th), Jamie McMurray (7th), and David Ragan (8th) all had great finishes. Clint Bowyer led 91 laps and was 9th.


A couple of times a year it seems like NASCAR's safety measures are put to the test. Sunday, Martin Truex Jr's stuck throttle showed how far those measures have advanced. While the car itself did its job, the wall and "kill switch" did not. The race was red flagged after the wall was damaged by Truex's impact, and his engine kill switch did not work as designed to cut the engine.


How can Bristol be only half full just a couple of weeks ago, yet two hours away, Martinsville is almost sold out?


Denny Hamlin's inner spoiled child reared his ugly head during the race. Hamlin sounded off about poor fuel mileage, bad pit stops, and team strategy in general. For his last couple of pit stops the #11 team used the #20 team's front tire changer.... while Joey Logano was still on the lead lap!


  1. (RED FLAG) The tickets at Martinsville are half the price of Bristol

  2. Yea you guys heard me screamin' for Junyer from Cali - but it was around 4p when I finally got to watch the race! Come on now Gene, might have to lay off ole Junebug now that he legitimately passed cars for the lead and moved a few out of the way including your and Dwindy's man-crush! LOL Okay, okay, he needs to do that week in and week out but a little credit is due.

    Hamlin is just like Kurt sometimes...

    Truex's throttle issue was scary - the kill engine switch is kinda important! Will have to check with Luke to see what happened on that car.

  3. Happy for Harvick. This may be his year to unseat Jimmie. Keep an eye on Kyle though. This is directed to Kevin... I know Gene and Dwindy always heve their eyes on Kyle... Twisted freaks! LOL

  4. Gene, I'm thinkin' Junior wasted his chance at victory and deserves something a lot further down the line than a green flag...

    CR... I, unlike a lot of NASCAR fans (or maybe I should say most NASCAR fans) am addicted to winning! LOL

  5. @ Anon.... excellent point. I believe Martinsville had 4 tix, 4 hotdogs, and 4 cokes for under $100.

  6. Kristen... Once Jr got by Kyle, nad Kyle couldn't keep up, even I was rooting for Jr. Would have been a great story.

    Kyle was being used as a pin ball both days in Martinsville.... that was ugly.

    Kurt, Denny, and others only have 4 hours each week to do what they do best. Then they see it slipping away due to outside forces and react strongly. What's the clinical term for that? lol

  7. CR... Can't help but watch Kyle.... Fox only televises the leaders every week. LOL

  8. Dwindy... Jr did the right thing. Harvick was faster. When a faster car catches and passes you (like Jr did Kyle), you don't intentionally wreck him. It looked like the only cars being bumped yesterday were the ones holding up someone faster, and that's the way it should be. A slower car diving into a turn too fast, and using the car ahead of it for brakes is BS. That's what McDowell did to Marcos. I would like too see what sparked that payback.

  9. Gene, thanks for bringing up Denny "I let a championship slip through my fingers last year and I'm still pissed about it" Hamlin. He was consistently getting among the worst gas mileage of any of the top contenders. The last caution just KILLED him. The entire #11 team is struggling and at this point, he needs wins to make the Chase as a wild card. He's got both road courses and Indy waiting for him, as well as Talladega and Daytona. He's not fared well at any of these tracks. I just don't see Hamster making it unless he rips off wins.

  10. Jon... LOL @ Denny's long nickname.

    Hamlin will have a couple of wins before the Chase begins. Pocono, Loudon, Texas... are all good tracks for him. Except for the road courses, I could see him winning at any track.

  11. Gene, I think I figured out McDowell's motive. I recored the Truck race and watched a bit of it last night and it seemed that whenever the guy on the outside shoved his way to the inside line when there was a gap that would fit 95% of a truck, the guy behind would give him a little nudge into the turn to let him know he wasn't happy.

    McDowell looked to have been in the same position but instead of a bump, he just decided to take Marcos out instead.

  12. Tez... Ragan and Kenseth complained about McD hitting them during the race, too. It was McD's only start and not-park of the season, and he must have thought he was auditioning for Robby Gordon... LOL

  13. The best driver and fastest car won that race. Ok Jr. lets see if you can win one now.

    For some reason I don't think Jr. is happy at Hendrick Racing. He has more on his mind than what he is revealing to the media.