Friday, April 11, 2008

Ya Gotta Love...

...Junior Nation! In general terms, their loyalty for their driver goes beyond mere fan loyalty. It is what they know to be the truth! Jr is in fourth place in the standings after seven races, so it must be the crew chief's fault. The #88 team is brand new, and has outperformed all the other Hendrick Motorsports teams, but that isn't good enough. Tony Eury, Jr. is letting Junior Nation down. Why not give Jr Alan Gustafsen as a crew chief? Sure, Gustafsen is sitting in 26th place in points, with struggling driver Casey Mears, but he has to be better for Dale Junior's interests because he is not related to Junior, and he never worked for DEI.
If you don't understand that logic, don't worry. You are not part of Junior Nation, and you are not expected to understand it. You don't even need to understand it. That's another thing I love about Junior Nation. They don't try to push their driver on you if you are the fan of another driver. They have a great sense of humor, and their logic is kept secret from outsiders. God Bless them!
I recently posted a satirical piece, and the only people who commented on it were Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans. They generally liked it. To be honest, they saw it in a completely different light than in which it was intended, but that is just a sign of good satire--it can be seen in many different ways, and can be funny to different people for different reasons. To my friends, and I mean that sincerely, thank you for your comments, and for letting me see the joke in a different way.
Ya gotta love night racing. The drivers do, but the crew chiefs often don't. The changing conditions create unique situations for both the driver and the crew chief, and the challenge to both is different. The driver is expected to adjust his driving to the changing conditions, but the crew chief is responsible for making sure that the driver has a car in which he can adjust to the changes. This is even more pronounced in the new car. But that doesn't really matter to the fans, as long as it is fun to watch.
And you have to love night racing at Phoenix. The track layout is crazy--there is nothing remotely like it anywhere on the Sprint Cup circuit.
It is the first Saturday night race of the season, which also gets us excited as fans, and that excitement is enhanced by the atmosphere of a venue at which the entire community gets enthusiastically involved.
While we're on the subject of Phoenix and the community around it, we gotta love Jaynelle Ramon, the enthusiastic NASCAR blogger with journalistic credentials for the Arizona Daily Star, who is blogging from the track this weekend. She makes no secret of the fact that she is a diehard Jeff Gordon fan, but since the beginning of the season, she has become a semi-official Ryan Newman reporter. Fun, and awesome. Congratulations, Jaynelle.
Back to the track, we will probably see better racing Saturday night than we did at TMS last weekend. That is mostly because the camera angles will be better because it is a smaller track. But short track racing, which is what a race on a one mile or shorter track is considered, is almost always better than intermediate-class track racing anyway. At Phoenix, there are as many lines to follow as there are drivers, which always makes for an interesting race. In addition, unlike, TMS, this is not the first race for the new car at Phoenix, and there has been testing earlier this year. If Goodyear brought the same tire to the race as was used in testing, the teams should be better prepared for this race than they have been for any other race so far this season.
If Dale Earnhardt, Jr isn't saving his first win with HMS for Talladega, let's hope he lets his cousin Tony Eury, Jr off the hook by not only winning this one, but by gaining first place in the points. Are you with me, Junior Nation?


David said...

Great piece, Jim. I'm a distant patriot of Junior Nation -- in some things, its great that heart counts more than anything we think we know ... though an army of believers can be beaten, hands down, by the better crew chief ...

Jaynelle said...

"Semi-official Ryan Newman reporter." I like that.

Cheyenne said...

Well of course we are with you on that Talladega win for Dale Jr.

Seriously though, some of his fans get me so angry I wish I could reach out and bop them on their silly heads. I don't know why they let their undies get all in a bunch. Dale Jr. wants and needs Tony Jr. to be by his side and no amount of his fans are going to tell him anything different. Why they can't understand that is beyond me.

RevJim said...

Jaynelle, I'm glad you liked it, but what about all the nicethings I wrote about you? (J/k Newman fans)
David--it's not going to bother Tony Jr or Dale Jr. They will get a win soon, and the fans will think of something else.
Cheyenne--I am not going to even try to understand the "dump Tony Jr" movement. If someone tries to explain it to me, I'm afraid my head would explode. People forget what has happened every time someone tries to replace Dale Jr's crew chief. Remember what happened when DEI exchanged the #15 crew with the #8 crew? Nothing good came out of that.