Saturday, April 08, 2006

IROC Race Pleasantly Surprising

It’s always been difficult to get me to watch a race with identically prepared cars. I mean, if you think about it, when all the cars are the same, and all the drivers are at the top level, in their top form, it would appear that all that could come from such a race would be either a giant demolition derby, or a nose to tail parade. Boy was I wrong.
In Friday’s IROC race, Tony “Smoke” Stewart (my favorite driver) took the green flag in last place and took the checker in first place, marking his first win in any race at Texas Motor Speedway. In between the start and the finish was what could not be described as less than a Grand Spectacle.
It was vaguely reminiscent of a NASCAR Talledega race, as the cars were packed tightly together and racing three, and, at times, four wide for nearly the entire race. The difference between Talledega and the Texas IROC race, aside from different tracks, is that the NASCAR Cup cars are more powerful, yet use the restricter plates, and lose torque needed for closing and passing, while the IROC cars do not have restricter plates and may pass when the opportunity presents itself. This resulted in an all-out race between very talented drivers. Very impressive, indeed.
It was perhaps the best IROC race in at least ten years. I don’t recall exactly how many lead changes there were--Mark Martin led most of the early part of the race, until Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart reached the top five, both having advanced from the rear of the field, whereupon there were several lead changes. Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, and Tony Stewart all raced hard and clean, constantly swapping the lead position. It was much more than I would have expected in previous years. All the drivers in the race showed that they were truly champions.

After winning the race, and climbing the fence to take the checkered flag, Stewart offered a deal to IROC President, Jay Signore. He proposed that, if he won the IROC championship, he would trade the million dollar prize for a race at his dirt track, Eldora. Signore accepted. IROC has already added a road course to its schedule this year, a dirt track will enhance the series even more, so it is a pretty good bet that all good race fans will be pulling for Tony to be the next IROC champion.


Babs said...

That was a great race, wasn't it?
Blogger ate ALL my blogs. I have set up one temp blog under my profile while waiting for Blogger support to get back to me. I have no idea where my blogs went!!!
I was able to get your address through Google cache off my Nascar blog!

RevJim said...

They must have had some kind of glitch over the weekend. My dad had problems getting to my other blog, but I wasn't on line, so I didn't become aware of it until today.