Sunday, June 01, 2008

Live on type delay: Dover

Wasn't that the cutest "Shentlemens, sharatart yo ehnshinens" you ever heard? It made me go awwwww! That made me forget all about Darrell Waltrip calling JD Gibbs a liar during the prerace show. "The one thing that says that (Stewart) will be making a move is that he hasn't said he will be at Gibbs next year."

Waltrip may be an expert when it comes to racing, but it should be noted that he resorted to that logic precisely because he has no more of an idea what is going on in contract negotiations than anybody else in the media. All he had to do was listen to Tony say, on the pre race show before Darlington three weeks ago, "We were never planning on leaving Gibbs."

Nor did Waltrip read the article last week in which JD Gibbs asserted that Smoke will be held to his contract through 2009, and that Gibbs Racing would be fielding a fourth team to accomodate rising star Joey Logano, when he is ready. If Waltrip did read the article, then he called Gibbs a liar, and that is the point at which I muted the TV and tuned the radio in to MRN. In Waltrip's defense, however, we must remark that perhaps he doesn't know that Stewart's current contract runs through 2009.

The first seventeen laps of the race were without incident. Then came disaster. Elliott Sadler was trying to "Diamond" the track, which means trying to make the straightest line possible by moving from the outside of the corner to the inside for the exit of the turn. That is fine, as long as there is nobody trying to run the inside. Unfortunately, for Sadler, Junior, Smoke, Bowyer, Riggs, Harvick. Kahne, Labonte, and Hamlin, David Gililand was trying to run the inside of the turn, and as Sadler came down the track, the front of Gililand's car hit the left rear of Sadler's car. Sadler's car spins and is hit by the #20 car, which results in a big pile up behind them.

When the race restarts, after the red flag period, everybody pits. Biffle restarts in the lead. Some of the cars that only received minor damage are back on the track quickly, and Labonte's car is the first one that needed repair to reenter the race, two laps down. He is joined by Earnhardt, Jr. who comes on to the track ten laps down.

There is some great racing going on with Biffle, who had taken two tires during the first pit stop in the lead, and Kyle Busch in second. It may be too early to see the dream race match between the two, but the anticipation is there.Biffle seems to be pulling away from Busch. Further back, there has been some good racing between Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards for third place, as the two battle back and forth. On lap 56, Edwards seals the deal for third place.

Of the cars that were involved in the big wreck on lap 17, Tony Stewart's is the last one out, 114 laps down. Hamlin and Sadler are out of the race.

Giving credit to Mike of Trouble in Turn 2, we will fast forward to the final twenty percent of the race, since this is the part of of the race that matters. Besides, we had to run an errand/fall asleep/check on the Indycar race, for a while, so we may have missed something, but it doesn't seem so. Nothing much has happened up to this point. There were some lead changes, but by the time we get to the final green flag pit stops, beginning on lap 317, nothing has changed in the running order of the top six. By the time the pit stops cycle through, Ryan Newman has had to take extra time in the pits to repair brakes, which takes him out of contention, and there are only seven cars on the lead lap.

With 41 laps to go, Kyle Busch has extended his lead over second place Carl Edwards by seven seconds. We are not surprised by that, nor are we surprised that Matt Kenseth is running in fourth place. Kyle Busch, who has been taking care of his car, having finally learned to look at the big picture, much to the disappointment of fans who want to see him wreck someone or be wrecked.

MRN has an interview with Tony Stewart on Kyle Busch:
"I am proud to have him as a team mate...I don't usually stay in the hauler and watch the truck races, but he is a lot of fun to watch...he gets everything he can out of the car and that is what you want in a driver."

One of the reasons folks think Smoke wants to leave JGR is that he doesn't get along with Kyle Busch. If "Jaws" Waltrip heard that interview, he probably thinks Stewart is lying again.

Fourteen laps to go, and Kyle Busch is still first, five seconds ahead of Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle is third, Matt Kenseth is fourth and Jeff Gordon is fifth. Ho hum. That's the way it finishes.

Patience and restraint is the order of the day for today's race. Even the "Wild Thing" decided he didn't have to be so wild to win the race. It didn't make the race exciting, by any means, but it was a race, and it showed that even Kyle Busch can be perfect in hitting his marks and getting around lapped traffic. If you are going to blame the win on the "extra horsepower" of the Toyota engines, you should know that the only other Toyota finishing in the top ten was Dave Blaney in ninth.

I don't know if the reason for the mediocrity of the race was the restrictions on the rear end tracking, or maybe that many of the possible contenders were taken out early in the race. Since NASCAR still allows a half an inch of rear end toe out, I don't think that was really the problem, so we have to believe it may have been a better race if it wasn't for that big crash. The race definitely went downhill from there.

Still, its racing, and we wouldn't have missed it for anything.


Tim Zaegel said...

Eh ... that wreck kinda took the wind out of my sails pretty early on. This was kind of a tough one to sit through for the most part.

Snafam said...

The race sure did have it's long yawn green flag stretches.

I think that wreck took a lot out of the driver's sails, too. They were tip-toeing around the track for the rest of the day.

Jarrett said...

Great blog. I was always under the impression that people hated Jeff Gordon for being a goody two shoes.

Kyle Busch deserves the hate without question.

Tim Zaegel said...


Yeah, I think the race might've been ... actually, it definitely WOULD HAVE BEEN a lot better with a few more cautions at the end.

RevJim said...

Jarrett, Really? Do you hate Brad Keselowski, too, because he has the same attitude as Kyle Busch?