Sunday, August 28, 2011

View From The Flagstand: Keselowski Best at Bristol

Remember when Bristol had 20 (legit) cautions per race, and no green flag pit stops? Well, since the track's reconfiguration in 2007, that has all gone the way of the COT's rear wing. The half mile track used to be a one groove joint with 35 degree banked turns. Now, with the progressive banking, the track claims that the turns are banked between 24 and 30 degrees. Independent parties have gauged it at 20 degrees.


The Blue Deuce is on the loose! Brad Keselowski is having a month of racing that legends are made of. Four races, two wins, a second, and a third all in August. And, all on the fractured ankle. Drivers, teams, and fans are wondering if this guy will be a factor in the Chase. I have to say yes because he seems so underwhelmed by his success. I'll throw it out there, in, and out of the car, he reminds me of Davey Allison.


Martin Truex Jr held off Jeff Gordon for second place. Jamie McMurray stayed close and brought it home in fifth position. Marcos Ambrose earned his eighth top-10 this year with his 10th place run.


There was a time when they didn't have to throw "mystery debris" yellow flags at Bristol to tighten up the racing. Fifteen to twenty actual cautions were the norm just a few years ago. The graduated banking has opened up a second, and third, groove on the track, so the bump, pass, and run is not needed now. Add in the hands-off, points racing, approach with the Chase just two races away, and the, one-time, season's most anticipated race has become just another yawner.


While a handful of drivers appear to be making an effort to go into the Chase at full speed, others are lagging badly. This week Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, and Dale Earnhardt Jr looked like anything but championship contenders. Better step yo game up, boys.


Thanks, Irene! ABC broadcast this race nationwide. But, millions of homes along the eastern seaboard saw nothing but idiotic, local ABC reporters standing in the rain trying to panic the public with non-stop Hurricane Irene reports. Other local markets, such as Nashville, were treated to preseason NFL games on their ABC affiliates instead of racing from Bristol.


  1. you left out Tony in the lagging section....I know he's struggled at Bristol before, but that was a shocking race for the #14 guys.

  2. LOL Tez... I left him off instead of Jr just for Kristen. Yep, Tony seems to be the one most needing to step it up.

  3. Kind of anti-climactic watching the race today on tape and knowing who ended up in victory lane... But I had to see all the wrecks and cautions and pit strategy and... WTH? You're right Gene, this was really one tame race. My gosh, we even had Denny Hamlin apologizing to Cousin Carl for inadvertantly bumping him!

    The biggest news to come out of the Bristol Cup race was the difference in pit road speeds based on where your pit was located in conjunction to NASCAR's pit road timing lights. Jeff Gordon had a legitimate complaint but I had to laugh watching his quivering lip while he initially stated he should have won! LOL! Gordon backed off later (did someone from NASCAR give him a call???) and didn't say he should have been the winner while expressing his seconds lost while following the pit road speed limit.

    Will Brad waltz right on into the Chase without the wild card?

  4. Dwindy... The pit road speeds will probably cause a severe overreaction by NASCAR right before the Chase. It was weird to see Kez pass 2-3 cars on pit road and not get gigged for speeding.

    BK prolly will make it into the top-10 for the Chase. Those Penske Dodges are pretty fast at Atlanta.

  5. Pickin on me are ya Gene?

    Well okay, here goes the chant you were expecting
    "OverRated! OverRATED! cha cha, chachacha.."

    (my apologies to our resident Smoke fans...)

    Looks like putting together a ride for MM/DP has robbed Smoke of his patented summer run...and in the same vein, me thinks miss Patricia is a bit too involved in Kurt's life at the moment and focus is very very off in that 22 ride. Or it could be lead team engineer got canned about 8 races back and we are now seeing the consequences. Either way, BK making Kurt look bad!

  6. KLV... come on, you really think that's Kurt's problem? That team has been streaky ever since Kurt went there... and it looks like a downward streak now. Bad time for it.

  7. I really do think it was firing Dave Winston that is biting us in the butt and causing this streak now (our team engineer who sets the car up for Kurt - not Tom German)...

    Yes, they always streaky but speeding 2x!! Some one not focused! =)

  8. Gene, good stuff. I think BK will be a factor, but I see him falling short. The pressure will get to him. He'll learn from this experience and grow. He could make it into the top 10, and knock Smoke off, but I think with the Danica fiasco over with, I think you'll see Smoke make his best runs of the season when he needs them the most. As for Harvick, I think the 29 team will field their very best cars from here on out. (I think they're bringing the same car that won at Charlotte.) But the Bristol night race WAS a yawner. Perhaps Richmond will be what Bristol USED to be.

  9. Jon... I agree that Tony will have to run good at Richmond.

    The 29 team, and the 22, both were decent early in the year... but are not looking strong going into the Chase. Everyone will step it up in the Chase... that means the 29 will have to double their efforts, just to keep up. They may have used up all their good luck earlier when they won 3 races, yet only led 9 laps in those 3 races.