Monday, August 15, 2011

View From The Flagstand: Ambrose Ambushes the Glen

Rain on Sunday meant racing on Monday at Watkins Glen. Australian, Marcos Ambrose became the fifth first-time winner this year when he bolted to the front on the green-white-checkered finish. Ambrose also became the fourth foreign born driver to win a NASCAR Cup race. Anyone know the other three?


Ambrose has shown himself to be the man to beat on NASCAR's road course races. Even more impressive when you consider he's only been in lower echelon equipment during his NASCAR career. It has been a wild season with the five first-timers, and fifteen different winners in all. None of those, however, may have seemed as overdue, yet as welcome as Ambrose's.


Brad Keselowski backed up last week's win with a strong second place run. We are witnessing the next NASCAR superstar blooming right before our eyes, folks. The speed that Keselowski gets out of his Penske Dodge, his skills, and determination may just cause a stir in the Chase.


Not so fast on counting Dale Earnhardt Jr out of the Chase. Three weeks ago, he was nine points from becoming a bystander when the Chase started. Since then, some decent, not great, finishes, along with stumbles by others, have all but assured Junior a Chase place.


Last week everyone was complaining about the lack of impact absorbing crash barriers at Road Atlanta after Keselowski's wreck during testing there. Now, can we expect the same outrage for the deplorable crash barriers at Watkins Glen? NASCAR owns this track, so there should be no excuse for this 1960's throwback not to be modernized with the latest SAFER barriers.


Boris Said! How come these so-called road race ringers never finish in the top five? How come they are racing, and wrecking, inexperienced regular drivers for 23rd position? How come nothing is ever their fault?

Said deliberately caused the most horrific looking crash of the year on Moday at the Glen when he hooked David Ragan on the last lap. David Reutimann was caught up in the carnage. Two totally destroyed cars, and some collateral damage later, and Said "earns" a grand 22nd place finish.


  1. I can name two: JPM and Mario Andretti.

  2. There you go again Gene... tire barriers , or tyre retainers, if you're from some other friggin' country, are just a good old fashioned way to stop an out of control car! LOL

    Congrats to Marcos! Well deserved, and overdue. Boris Said... I thought he finished 15th. Last year Tony wrecked him for no reason. So I guess Boris thinks that's how the Cup guys race?

  3. I thought Mario was born and raised in Nazareth PA...

    I'll say the other driver was Austin Powers. Yeah baby! lol

  4. CR- Nope, Mario was born in the Italian region of Istria, on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea. After WW2, Istria became part of Yugoslavia(now Croatia), so Mario and his family came to America.

  5. Speedy.... good job! The other fur-iner is not as reknown as the two you knew. The third one is a former Rookie of the Year in Winston Cup.

  6. CR... Junyer was 15th. Boris must have been blocking Tony. LOL

    The tire barriers at the Glen are better than nothing. I'm talking about the the spots where the two Davids hit. Unprotected guardrail, at an angle that rebounds the car (hard) back across the narrow track.

  7. It was a good thing seeing that beaming smile of Marcos' in Victory Lane... Sometimes good guys do finish first!

    After the cream puff NW race it was also good to see some of these teams get put to the test. I thought Kyle was on course to pull out the win but for the first time in a long time he lost position on a restart.

    I have to say Junior surprised me by racing near top ten territory most of the run... Tony Stewart's finish was another surprise, and not a good one for the 14 fans...

    Keselowski has certainly stepped up his game and maybe it'll be a wake up call for some of these other drivers and teams. Brad's picked up several positions in the Chase and if he keeps going like this on his home track and beyond he may be in the Chase just on points!

    After witnessing a couple of those hard crashes yesterday all I can say is thank goodness for this resilient car NASCAR has these guys driving. They've definitely made it safer for the drivers even where there are no safer barriers.

    Said the hot head!

    Thanks Gene!

  8. You knew Maaacus was going to win that race as soon as Kyle picked the inside line again! LOL I would love to see the Aussie win again and again...

    Love that Junyer was at the hauler arguing he finished thats dedication! So again I ask why Junyer is getting crapped on so much when Smoke is doing worse...he wrecked himself as far as I could tell so why no disparaging comments about Smoke? Oh, cuz his daddy wasnt famous...and we are still waiting for that famous summer winning run...whatever! I feel like starting an "over rated" chant but I wont b/c it will make our resident #14 fans angry. =)

    That section of wall where the David's hit and Sam did a few years ago has to be changed. That wall just flung Ragan right into the track, great for dissipating the energy but not so much when it flings you into oncoming traffic.

    I must say the most entertaining interview was of Boris' crew chief - that guy was hilarious only second to Boris himself going off. Love the honesty even though I think Boris was wrong on this one. But it sure was good stuff! And exactly what WAS Biffle upset about? Was it racing Boris earlier or because he almost killed Ragan?

    Thank god for safety equipment...Hamlin, Kurt, BK, Ragan and Rooty all took tremendous hits in the past few weeks. I will commend ESPN for making sure the drivers were okay before showing the wrecks (over and over and over...)

  9. Tez laptop is dead so have to do everything on the work PC.

    black flag to Bob Pockrass on twitter...justifying that the race was worth the extra day wait. I would have been mighty peeved off if that had happened at Sonoma given I flew back home Monday so my trip would have been basically just an excuse to see Kristen, Melissa and CR, lol

    and I believe the other name is a Earl Ross from Canada.

  10. Dwindy... Yes, it's always nice to see the good guys win, and there aren't a lot of us left. lol

    I would say that, even with all the first time winners, Kez is the biggest surprise of this season.

    Kyle keeps piling up the top-5s. Needs to do that during the Chase.

  11. KLV... If they didn't have G,W,C finishes Kyle would already have 200 wins. LOL

    Whoo, whoo, time to bury Smoke? He and Jr's stats are almost identical this year... except Tony has led 7 times as many laps as Jr. Just having a little fun with the Nation.... they are excited about Jr making the Chase... Tony's fans act like they've been there before. I can hardly wait to see Letarte's strategy for the Chase. "Big Picture Racing" theory, I'm sure.

    That was a crew chief? I saw the interview and thought he was a writer or a bystander. LOL

  12. Tez... So, the Lugnuts aren't worth a visit? LOL

    Earl Ross is the last member of Foreigner that we were looking for. He was from Ontario and brought Carling Black Label beer down with him as a sponsor at Jr Johnson & Associates.

    In 1974 he won the fall race at Martinsville after his Jr Johnson teammate, Cale Yarborough blew his engine. 30 cars started, 10 were running at the finish. Fifth place Richie Panch was 12 laps down. 10th place Jabe Thomas was 77 laps behind. Ahhh, the good old days of close competition.

  13. Tez again: I would never turn down a chance to visit us Lugs, I'm just saying I'd be a tad annoyed that I missed the race due to prebooked flights when they could have bolted on some wets :P