Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 From the Flagstand

As usual, we skip January and lead off with February, when racing roared back to life at Daytona. After three long, cold, months of waiting for the boys to bring back the noise, it took all of three laps of DW and Larry Mac to douse those flames of anticipation. Luckily JPM had earned his fire-starting badge and reignited them. Matt Kenseth finally won 2012’s Daytona 500, three or four days after it was scheduled to end, barely keeping the 500 in the month of February. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

Which left only a couple of days before our four March races. Smoke won two of them, way out west. Four races into the year and each of NASCAR’s four manufacturers (Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge) had a race win. Kurt meltdowns: 2

The first day of April found Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon slamming fenders with each other at Martinsville. Meh, they both seem pretty level-headed, I’m sure they won’t carry a grudge. Sniffles the Hamster scored his second win of the young year. Teammate, Kyle Busch, secured the first of what is sure to be many wins this year. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

At Talladega in May we saw Smoke lecturing fellow drivers on his special ‘no blocking allowed’ rule that he would begin enforcing immediately. Maybe we can get a demonstration of exactly what you’re talking about, Tone? Tone? It took eleven races before JJ won his first this season. Uh oh, could be a long year for the multi-timer. Kurt meltdowns: 3

In June five different drivers found victory lane. Joey Logano somehow followed the sliced bread crumbs to the winner’s circle at Pocono. Even more surprising was Dale Jr winning for the first time since 2008. Every time Jr wins a race, Obama wins an election. Thanks, Junebug. Kurt meltdowns: 1.

During July’s 1,118 miles of racing we somehow had 63 laps of cautions. So… my daily commute has a higher accident to miles driven ratio? And, it’s interactive… and free. JJ and Smoke won their third races of the year, and Kasey Kahne earned his second of the season. Kurt meltdowns: 2.

August found Jeff Gordon winning a race, finally. Did he really need his GPS to find victory lane? “Turn left. Turn left. Go five tenths of a mile and your destination is on the left.” Marcos Ambrose also made his yearly visit to VL at a non-oval track. Kurt meltdowns:1

 September saw the Hamster and Kez winning four of its five races. Oh yeah, the Chase started…. In Chicago? Kyle “points raced” himself right out of the Chase at Richmond. Strangely, he still has the same crew chief. Kurt meltdowns: 0.

We returned to Talladega in October and Smoke showed everyone what happens to blockers. Twenty-two other cars suffered collateral damage, but everyone agreed his demonstration was spot on. As the month wound down it looked like JJ might sail on to his sixth championship, as his lone challenger turned out to be, Keselowski, the new kid on the block (with the haircut to prove it). Kurt meltdowns: 1.

November signaled the end of Hendrick’s title reign of terror (yes that includes Tony) as Keselowski gave Dodge its first championship since Lee Iacocca was running the show. Google him, kids. I’m old. In other news, the title clinching race will be Dodge’s last one for the foreseeable future. Kurt meltdowns:0… but he can’t be happy that his old team just won the title, can he?

With appologies to Dave Barry