Friday, October 12, 2007

Lowe's preview--my "Do-over"

Those of us who watched the Busch series race at Lowe's, Friday night witnessed impending doom. ESPN color commentantor Rusty Wallace watched with dismay as the rear axle fell out of his #66 car, driven by Reed Sorenson.
"These things don't happen by themselves," declared a dissappointed Wallace, "Somebody left something loose on that car."
What we really heard was, "Some heads are going to roll."
Lauren (I swear he says his name is "Warren") Wallace was nowhere to be seen, nor was Teresa Earnhardt.
But that wasn't all the doom Rusty foretold. He found his catchphrase during Cup qualifying and dubbed turn 3-4, "Calamity Corner."
Of course, it being ESPN, who thrives on catchphrases, we heard "Calamity Corner" several times, during the Busch Series race, not only referring to the race itself, but in anticipation to Saturday night's Cup race.
So, in anticipation of Saturday's Cup race, I bring you part two of my race preview.
The tires are a slightly softer compound than we have seen in the last two races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but we still heard drivers who were having trouble place the blame on "hard tires." It actually still has a lot to do with the new pavement, coupled with a refusal on the part of the drivers to "go slow to go fast (another catchphrase)." As much as the drivers want there to be two grooves, they aren't really there. It should be noted that Tony Stewart, who has been notorious for complaining about the tires at Lowe's, has said nothing about the tires. In fact he's said very little about anything. Hmmm.
Still, it is hard not to pick Jimmie Johnson to win. He is on a roll, and this time last year was the peak of the season for him, a peak that he maintained all the way to the last race. Any problem he had with the tires or the track during the Busch race will be rectified by Saturday night. That is just the way the #48 team operates. It pains me to be rational, but I have to be that way sometimes.
Still, there are no sure things in the Chase for the Championship at this point. We still have to believe that anything can happen. Otherwise, there would be no point in watching.
We should watch the RCR cars. Clint Bowyer is the only driver on that team who isn't yet under the "must win" pressure. That may work out good for him, and his participation in the Busch race gave him plenty of information about the track. Not being pressured may help him in getting a good finish. By the same token, Kevin Harvick has been known to work well under pressure. He is by no means out of the Chase--with six races to go, 202 points is not insurmountable odds. We will see him being careful during most of the race, but he will definitely want to lead some laps. Hunger for a win helps in some drivers, and, in the past, when "Happy" is hungry for a win, he can devour it.
The major prediction I would like to make, concerning Saturday night's Cup race, is that we will see some good racing. Whether that prediction comes true or not depends on smart racing. Green flag pit stops will be very important, as will over all pit strategy. Racing smart also means that the driver uses the right tactics in taking the treacherous turns Lowe's offers. We can't keep hoping that the strangeness that has characterized the Chase thus far will continue, but we can hope that smart racing will keep the Chase close.
Update: Jeff Gordon picks Tony Stewart to win the Chase. Not really, but he had some very flattering words to say about Smoke here.

1 comment:

Racefan57 said...

someone spread margarine on turn 4