Random thoughts and mutterings from Saturday afternoon of Talledage weekend!
NASCAR Nextel Sprint Cup-Talladega
- My driver David Gilliland made it into the race. Watching the Non-top 35 qualifications as a fan is almost as stressful as it has to be for the driver, crew chief and team owners.
- I enjoyed hearing MRN radio interview both David and his crew chief, Slugger Labbe, prior to the qualification run by the #71 TRG Chevy. MRN did a fabulous job on interviewing everyone on pit road, prior to each car hitting the track for their runs.
- There is no excuse, though, for the Fox/SpeedTV announcers to NOT interview ANY of the Go or Go Home drivers prior to their runs. When it takes a car almost a full minute to make their warm-up run, there is plenty of time to have a few words. Even worse, there was quite a bit of time for track clean-up, and the talking heads just kept yammering on about other tidbits that had already been mentioned. Is it any wonder why the cars in the back have trouble finding sponsors?
- Juan Pablo Montoya won the pole! One cannot help but wonder, with the Target Bulls-eye on that car, and with JPM's reputation with many of the drivers on the track, how that Bulls-eye will provide a 'Target' of Opportunity for those drivers!
- Dodge engines have been blowing up this weekend. Five Dodge cars will have to go to the back of the field on Sunday. With the advent of Chrysler's demise at the hands of the economy, it looks like this weekend is a sobering omen of 'what is to come.'
- Having my favorite driver outside of the Top 35, and struggling for sponsorship puts me in an uncomfortable spot. I am now having to hope for the bad runs, bad luck, or parts failure of several other cars or drivers or teams. My discomfort comes from being pretty sure that wishing bad luck on someone else gets returned to you!
- After watching Matt Kenseth rolling and bouncing around the track in the Nationwide race, I find myself thankful for the COT. There has been no car rolling, flipping and tumbling at a plate track since the COT first rolled out on those tracks in 2007. Indeed the only time a COT has tumbled was Michael McDowell, making a rookie mistake during qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway.
- Matt Kenseth joined the long list of drivers who have taken the Talledega Tumble. Always bad to see by fans and by family members, it seems that much worse when you know that Katie Kenseth is pregnant.
- Many fans want to point fingers at David Ragan for causing Kenseth's wreck. Even more fans point even longer digits in the direction of Kyle Busch for tapping Jason Allgeier. As a fan, I find it hard to judge those situations. The NASCAR drivers in the top series are driving 180+ mph, inches apart! I sometimes make errors in judgement going 55 mph, with car lengths between me and the cars around. While I don't wreck, I come danged close. At those speeds, the wreck is done before one can even form the thought that there is something happening, let alone reacting to it. Of course, the driver doing the tapping usually does not have any damage from this type of wreck.
- I find amusement in the Race Analysis SpeedTV pop-up being sponsored by World of Warcraft, and the Todd Bodine truck being sponsored by Ventrilo, a chat application used by WoW players! WoW has gone redneck? Who knew? (My WoW'ing spouse commented on how often the Ventrilo application crashes right before Bodine's Ventrilo entry crashed at lap 10. Amazing, he says!)
- Friday listeners to Sirius Speedway heard many callers berating the Kansas Speedway ticket office, refusing to sell any tickets to anyone wanting to view truck practice on Friday. They had customers with money in hand being turned away, with the claim, as heard on Sirius, that race fans MUST buy tickets for the whole weekend. While that is certainly their right, it certainly does not appear to be smart to alienate fans who MIGHT end up buying tickets for the rest of the weekend if allowed in on the slowest day, gate-wise, of the whole weekend. Perhaps the economy in Kansas is just fine! Or perhaps they are resting on their laurels, knowing they have an 'in' to a second date with the building of the new casino, sponsored in part by ISC.