Monday, March 5, 2012

View From The Flagstand: Hamlin Handles Phoenix

We expected a little bit of a letdown after the spectacle that was the Daytona 500. Phoenix fulfilled our expectations, and then some. There was some hard racing back in the pack, but not so much for the leaders. My best compliments to this race would be, "I've seen worse"; "So glad its only 312 miles long"'; and "At least its not Fontana".


Crew chief, Darrien Grubb was canned after winning the title with Tony Stewart last season. He has now teamed up with, fellow Virginian, Denny Hamlin at Joe Gibbs Racing. This dynamic duo currently sit atop the points after winning at Phoenix and posting a top-5 at Daytona.


Kevin Harvick ran out of petrol on the last lap and still finished second. Greg Biffle was strong at the end and came home third. Hamlin's JGR teammates Kyle Busch (6th) and Joey Logano (10th) also ran well. Mark Martin won the pole and ended up ninth. Aric Almirola scored a 12th place run in his Petty Ford.


NASCAR used four debris cautions to break up the utter monotony on display in the desert. I have no problem with this.


There were no red flags this week, as Juan Montoya must have been reading Danica's new bestseller... 'Crashing for Dummies'.


After bashing the Fox race announcers non-stop, I muted the telly and listened to the Motor Racing Network's coverage for this race. MRN is wholly owned by NASCAR. Not exactly 'fair and balanced'. It was an interesting experiment but I miss my Waltrips, so back to the Fox for me.


  1. Progessive banking at Phoenix to go along with Homestead, Bristol and with Pocono's redo which will be on display this summer.

    Does anyone recall that there was no real passing at Homestead last November ? What a wonderful engineering idea for a race track. Less banking on the bottom means less grip and less real racing. Must be a Cali college grad that came up with this brainstorm.

    The best in the biz Barney Hall is not well and missed Big D. I miss him period.

    Great thread as usual Gene

  2. Hey Rich... Yeah, I don't think the progressive banking is working out like they thought it would.

    Used to love MRN with Barney, Eli Gold, Joe Moore, and Ned Jarrett!

  3. Ha, at least it's not Fontana. That summed it up pretty well. Hope Vegas is much better, the last couple races there haven't exactly been thrilling either.

  4. Excellent showing for JGR.

    Interesting seeing Kyle lose it when running side by side with Harvick... Intimidation? I know there was a line those guys were riding on the high side track and one slip going into the turns could get your car loose... Then the question is why drive the high line? Kyle seemed content after that point to line dance with the rest of the field...

    Biffle hung in there. When will that end? And where was Cousin Carl? Phoenix is supposed to be one of his best tracks. Can you tell he was my pick in the fantasy deal?

    Thanks Gene!

  5. Wow! that race was SOOOOO boring, I was dying in the pits esp since I could only see 1/4 of the track. That banking did not do what they were thinking it would fo'sho. Too bad b/c PHX was a fun race to watch with at least some passing. Painful!

    Happy for Darian, Hamlin not so much but HamStar is happy...all my favs and fantasy drivers sucked too so alas, other than hanging with my buds, not such a stellar race weekend. NW was a snoozefest too.


  6. JM... Yeah, Las Vegas has been boring since day one. Can't recall any good Cup races there... while they have had some good Truck and NW finishes.

    Dwindy... I think Kyle used his tires up, racing Kev hard. Once a car got mired back out of the top 3 it was hard to catch up or pass the leaders. I had Carl on my team also... taking da Biff to victory lane this week!

    Kris... I think of the 4 tracks that they changed to the graduated banking, all are worse! Except Loudon... and that's because it could not get any worse than it was!