After around forty-five laps in the race, the ESPN on ABC race coverage broke for a commercial. I went to use the facilities, and, when I returned, the pre-race show was on. The drivers were just going to the introductions, and then there was a caution on lap 54. My question is, did this happen on everybody's television, or have I really gone nuts? As one who has spent a lifetime studying and experimenting with the Spiritual side of existence, I understand that, in the realms of Spiritual consciousness, there is no such thing as linear time. I wonder, have I transcended into that reality?
Cawsnjaws, an off-beat NASCAR blog, presents excellent stats on the coverage/advertising ratio of the broadcasts. There may be some sort of explanation there. For now, I will proceed as if I have, indeed, left the physical plane, and there is no such thing as linear time, so this post may be difficult for some to read.
The best interview during the race was the one with Jeff Green, after the "Big One," with fourteen laps to go. Green explained that there were many different races going on, which most fans realize, but don't really pay much attention to. We should appreciate his composure, his sportsmanship, and his reluctance to place blame on any single driver or incident. The Green interview was probably the most rational part of the entire broadcast. A close second was the interview following the Big One, during the red flag period, between Rusty Wallace and Carl Edwards. Rusty asked Carl if he was concerned about the tires, with all the debris on the track, and if he would pit to get new tires. Carl started to answer, then, realizing who he was talking to, asked with genuine curiosity and respect, "What would you do?"
I liked that.
The Monster Mile had claws and teeth, Sunday. There were thirteen or fourteen cautions and over 66 caution laps. During the last half of the race, there were as few as seven cars on the lead lap. The separation between the cars that were running well and the cars that weren't was huge and well-defined. The Monster didn't care who was running well and who wasn't--attrition came indiscriminately. Most notable was Denny Hamlin, who got himself into trouble several times, ultimately destroying his car and moving himself to the tail end of the top twelve in points. Kyle Petty, angry because he was one of Hamlin's victims, suggested that considering Hamlin's illness, he shouldn't have tried to race both the Busch and the Cup series. By putting himself through such a grueling test, Kyle said, he had "lost his focus."
Petty, always rational, was probably right, which makes NASCAR From The Bleachers right, and me wrong. Until somebody tells me that ABC's temporal glitch happened on their TV as well as mine, I will maintain that I am irrational anyway.
Matt Kenseth had a good car that allowed him to race Denny Hamlin for the lead, early in the race. When Denny started having problems, it looked as though Kenseth had the car to beat. Electrical problems threatened, but Kenseth ran well for most of the race. Then, toward the end of the race, the engine expired. Teresa Earnhardt, the one who exists in the fantasies of Junior Fanatics--not you, Antonette, the real "out there" fanatics--apparently thought she could give her favorite driver, Martin Truex, Jr., an edge by sabotaging the other Chasers, because the problem was--all together now--a BENT VALVE. Truex, however, was one of the twelve drivers involved in the Big One, and his car quickly disintegrated after that.
So, Evil--not the real one--Teresa's plot was foiled, much to the delight of the foil-hatted ones.
Jr., himself ran well, and I once again became appreciative of his ability to handle a car that was less than perfect.
Did you know that I've been labeled a "Jr. Basher," in the That's Racin'.com forums? Apparently, you're not supposed to start a sentence with "If he doesn't win," when referring to the move to Hendrick Motorsports.
So, for those who don't believe that I believe in Jr, I will write this:
If the magical power of HMS is great enough to turn less-than-mediocre drivers, like Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, into champions, think what it can do with Dale Earnhardt, Jr, the greatest driver in all the many Universes. In fact, Jr. will be so good that NASCAR will make a new rule that says that once a car is twenty laps ahead of all the others, every lap until the end of the race will be counted as a victory. Therefore, it won't just be thirty-six Cup races Jr. wins next year, he'll be awarded with 112 victories, the most ever in one season. And, he won't ever have to worry about sponsorship again, because he'll be sponsored by God.That should make up for my version of ABC's commercial interruptions.
I was pleased to hear the comparison of the Busch Series and the Cup Series to the American and National leagues in baseball, rather than the minor and major leagues. I've been implying that comparison for some time now, except I didn't put it that way because I don't watch much baseball. I like the Colorado Rockies, so I'm not a baseball fan.
Anyway, back to the race. It was a thrill to watch Mark Martin racing for the lead--it always is, because his racing style is so unique. It was also interesting to see "Bad Luck" Biffle do so well. Can he finally put that bad luck behind him? A good racing Biff makes for good racing.
After all the smoke cleared, Smoke, who had been running most of the race around p-20 and a lap down, finished in the top ten. That's what patience can do for my favorite driver. Tony Stewart used every bit of his skill to thread through the wreckage of lap 386, and it paid off. Friday, he had stated that his goal in this race would be to close the gap between his points and those of the championship leader. Now, in second place, three points behind Jeff Gordon, we can say he met that goal.
After Carl Edwards scored a 9.8 out of a perfect ten on his Victory Backflip, I must admit that the race was, overall, pretty good. I just wish somebody could figure out a better way to cover it on television.