Sunday, July 31, 2011

View From The Flagstand: Menard Burns Brickyard

Paul Menard earned his first NASCAR Cup win Sunday at Indianapolis in the Brickyard 400. So far in 2011, four first time winners have graced victory lane at racing's most storied tracks. Menard at Indy, Trevor Bayne in the Daytona 500, Reagan Smith in the Southern 500 at Darlington, and David Ragan earlier this month in the 400 miler at Daytona.


Paul Menard has been banging around in NASCAR for eight years, and had two top-five finishes prior to moving to RCR this season. Menard now has four top-fives this year, and could make the Chase. His team played a fuel mileage strategy at the end, made one less green flag pit stop, and beat veteran Jeff Gordon to the finish line.


Reagan Smith had a much needed third place run. Likewise, Jamie McMurray in 4th. Landon Cassill came back from a spin to get a 20th place finish. Top rookie, Andy Lally was 26th on the lead lap at the finish.


I can't recall the last time there was so much contact on pit road. Or, maybe ESPN was just playing it up because there was little to no contact on the track.


Something needs to be done about the stock car racing at Indy. The track is not designed for stock cars to race on. The only solution I see would be to use the road course that weaves through the infield and onto sections of the track.


Steven Wallace! I can't believe that the other drivers, owners, and officials aren't demanding that Rusty take him out of the car. He has ZERO wins in 178 NW starts. He has FIVE top-5's in 178 NW starts. He has ONLY finished on the lead lap 78 times in 178 NW starts.

In Saturday's NW race at the Indy half-mile track Steven hit a parked car. At near full speed. On a straightaway. Several seconds after the caution came out. He is a menace to anything on asphalt. Rusty has spent millions of dollars over the last five or six years to fund this experiment in mediocrity. Try this Rusty; step one, fire Steven. Step two, wait for another owner to hire him.


  1. I'm getting pretty tired of these fuel mileage races. It's crappy to see a top 15 car win over a top 5 car, and I don't care who the "underdog" is. Newman won a "fuel mileage" race a couple weeks ago in Louden. Big difference there though, was Newman also had the dominant car. He started from the pole, and led the most laps. Just his misfortune that even some of his supporters look at it as a fuel mileage race. Anyway, congrats to Menard on his win.

  2. I've been tellin' ya about young Wallace... The guy's a menace and then it almost gets comical listening to ESPN's television commentators trying to cover for the kid since daddy's sitting in the booth with 'em. I was impressed with his run at Daytona to start the year after Crusty finagled a way to get his boy a ride, but since then it's been back to wreck 'em Stevie! Maybe they need to add another 6 to his car number! LOL!

    It was definitely good to see Menard as another first time Cup winner in 2011 and isn't it interesting they've all come on the storied tracks...

    Thanks Gene!

  3. Yep Stevie Wallace is riding on his dads coat tails. Certainly not enough talent to make it on his own.

    It does seem that the first time winners are taking the wins on the major race tracks. It is good to see these guys beat the big dollar teams to get a win. I love cinderella stories.

  4. CR... yeah, one or two mileage races per year is more than enough. But, come on Scrooge, who doesn't love an underdog winning.

    Dwindy... Rusty should be removed from ESPN! Ricky Craven was forced to ignore the obvious just because Rusty was right beside him. With Lucky Dogs and Wave Arounds there is no excuse for any full time driver not to finish on the lead lap at least 50% of the time.

    Photogr... I love the Cinderella stories, too. The first time winners this year have made the series more interesting.

  5. Hey! Did I not congratulate the kid riding on his Daddy's coat tails? LOL

  6. Impressive what Menard has put together this season in decent equipment and fun to see him win at Indy given how much money his dad has sunk trying to win there. I too love the cinderella stories...even seeing Trevor up front late was exciting. As was Big Daddy charging up thru the field.

    I didnt see NW race so cant comment on Steven any more than what I already know...sad really.

    Gotta say Alan calling the play by play with DJ is quite a if we can just get rid of that CC

  7. KLV... yes, Bestwick is a major upgrade! I don't mind Petrey, he doesn't bother me as much as Larry Mac.

    I wonder if Steven enjoys driving, or if he's living Rusty's dream?

  8. Rusty's dream of being a demolition derby driver?