Saturday, September 22, 2007

Debacle at Dover

The Sponsor To Be Announced Series (STBA), also known as the Busch Series held a spectacle at Dover, Saturday afternoon. It would have been a race, except it seemed that there would be a crash and a caution every fifteen to twenty laps, barely enough time to let the tire pressure come up to specs. There were a total of thirteen cautions, all before lap 140, all caused by a spin out or a crash. It got pretty old, after the ninth caution, because most of us wanted to see a race.
Not to say there wasn't any racing going on. We saw some good sprints featuring brilliant flashes of skill, performed by Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex, Jr., and Carl Edwards.
We could see where the mistakes were being made. Dover, or any concrete surface raceway, is especially hard on tires, and the way the drivers were aggressively following the line between the high groove and the low groove used up the tires pretty quickly. Not to mention driver error. One began to wonder, if it weren't for the above mentioned "Buschwhackers," would the race have finished at all?
There were stories, last year, about the existence of a Jeff Gordon Voodoo doll, but if it did exist, it was probably a Greg Biffle Voodoo doll disguised as Jeff Gordon.
I'm not a big fan of Da Biff, but I do think he is one good race car driver, and it is sad to see he just can't seem to shake the bad luck. After starting at the pole, with a darn good car, a series of being in the wrong place at the wrong time set him as far back as two laps down. I want to see the guy have some measure of success, because, like him or not, a good running Biffle makes a good race.
The star of the show was, of course, Denny Hamlin. The Virginian suffered so badly from a head cold, he could be seen leaning against the car for support before the race began. Once there, the car was the cure, and he led for 138 out of 200 laps. Now, imagine this; you have a head cold, feel weak and feverish, and you get into a car in which the temperature rises to above 120 degrees F. You are pulling 3 times the force of gravity going around the turns, and you have to stay constantly active to put the car where it is supposed to be. Show me one professional basketball or football player who could do that, even without a head cold. Then tell me NASCAR isn't an athletic sport. They wouldn't be able to get on the field or court, if they had a cold like that.
Having that little rant out of my system, we can look forward to a good Cup race, Sunday. Let's just hope the driving is a little better.

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