Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You Decide Poll 2009



The 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is in the books, which means it is time for the annual You Decide Poll. Last year I helped you out by narrowing it down to only ten choices, but this year all 36 are up for voting...

Which leads me to my poll question:

What was your favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race of 2009?

I'll go ahead and vote for the July Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. That was one of the most action-packed and exciting races I have ever seen. And it was all under the lights...

One vote per applicant only. Standard messaging fees may apply. Poll not open to residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Ford 400



  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on winning his fourth straight championship and achieving what no man has before. If Jimmie continues at his current pace, I wouldn't be surprised to see him win a fifth one or maybe even a tenth one. It's just a matter of whether any other driver can ever be good enough to stop him. Whether we like it or not, on Sunday we witnessed history; history that we can tell our kids and grandkids about years down the road. For all of you Johnson haters, I have come up with a solution to make all of this a little more bearable: instead of saying Jimmie is the first driver to win four straight championships, you can say he is the first driver to win four straight championships under the Chase format...
  • Also, congratulations to Denny Hamlin on becoming the first Toyota driver to ever win at Homestead. An honor a little less remarkable, but it will still go a long way in the foreign record books. Hamlin is a driver who has the potential to dethrone Johnson, but first he needs to figure out how to not throw his whole season away in the first couple races of the Chase. Ten weeks ago at Richmond, I considered him a driver to watch for. A few weeks later he was pretty much out of contention...
  • The history doesn't stop after the first two bullets. Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon became the first threesome from the same team to finish one-two-three in the year end standings. Hendrick Motorsports is just dominant; that's all there is to say about them. This whole season they have been a couple of steps ahead of everyone else...
  • Mark Martin may have come up short of what he was after, but he still has a lot to be proud of. At the beginning of the year, a lot of us kind of considered 2009 his farewell tour. Five wins and 36 races later, I don't know of anyone who doesn't immediately categorize him as a threat for next year's championship. He may be a legitimate contender next year, but I still think that this season was the closest Mark is ever going to get to achieving his long sought goal...
  • The most interesting storyline in this year's Chase was the feud between Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya this week down in the Florida Everglades. Two hot headed drivers were ready to take all of their pent up anger out on each other after a long season. It started with a little nudge, escalated into a cut right front tire, and from then on was a matter of who could crash the other one first. Probably the best fight we have had all year...
  • One team dominating always means that there are many others who are left at the end of the season groaning over nothing to brag about. It amazes me that a team like Richard Childress Racing with four drivers didn't visit victory lane once all year. Their drivers may have had some good performances like Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick did this week, but the organization as a whole has been out of sync for some reason. Was their four team expansion some kind of curse???
  • Roush-Fenway Racing was another team left in the dust by HMS. Other than Matt Kenseth winning the first two races of the season and a Jamie McMurray victory at Talladega, this organization also has hardly anything to show. I guess you could argue that three of their five drivers made the Chase. The one thing that strikes me more than anything else is Carl Edwards being winless this season after a career-high nine victories in 2008. This one could possibly be the curse of the Aflac duck...


That's all I have for the final edition of 2009. Not counting the last ten races, it's been a great season with a lot of drama on and off the track. Look for me to unveil my brand-new championship format in the next couple of weeks; this one needs a makeover...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day Trip to Talladega

Talladega. It is the biggest track on the NASCAR circuit. It is the most dangerous track on the NASCAR circuit. And since it is the venue of Sunday's Sprint Cup race, I thought it would be a good time to share some pictures from my day trip there a few weeks back.

The drive from Fayetteville, GA to Talladega, AL is just under three hours. My parents decided it would be a nice place to take a little family day trip since I happened to be out of school that Friday and had a Cross Country race the next day. We traveled there along interstate I-20 and came home through the backwoods of Alabama.

When we arrived at the track, we went in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame which is kind of like the visitor's center. It was late in the afternoon, but the tour guide was nice enough to take us and another group on a tour even though the last one of the day had already left... especially when he heard that all of us came from out of state.

Here are a few snapshots and captions from all we saw. The guide was an eighty-year old man who knew everything there was to know about Talladega and plate racing. South Carolina happened to be playing Alabama in Tuscaloosa that weekend, so he mentioned several times how they all were planning to have "Gamecock stew" for dinner.

In all of these pictures, you'll notice how dark the sky looks. That's because we hit the track just before the afternoon rain storm...




Those tire marks are remnants from Carl Edwards' airborne car back in April. I think it is kind of cool that they still left them there. Of course, we'll see a lot more of those by the time the checkered flag waves after 500 miles...



Here I am standing in victory lane. It looks so much smaller in person than when it is shown on the tube. I don't see how there's room for the winning team in addition to all of the media...





This is about the most picturesque scene I have for you at Talladega. There are even the Turn Four grandstands in the background...







Our 'Bama tour guide described this building as the place where the track owners discuss how to pocket our money on race weekend. All the dough that's spent on six dollar bottles of Coke goes toward that funky-looking space ship entrance...



That wraps up the picture show from my trip to Talladega. I'll try to write an edition of The Speeding Bullets for Sunday's race. Hope the racing will be better than it has been the last couple of weeks...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Pepsi 500


  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on winning two of the first four races of this year's Chase. Once he took the lead not long after the drop of the green flag, there was no looking back. The final restart showed just how much better he was than the rest of the field. Can you believe he has won three consecutive fall races at this track??? Jimmie is unbeatable, and unless something seriously goes wrong I don't see how he can not win a fourth straight championship...
  • At this point in the 2009 postseason, it doesn't matter how consistent all of the other Chasers are if they cannot win races. Juan Pablo Montoya may be running the best he ever has in the Cup series, but top fives every single week still aren't enough to run down a guy who is capable of winning all of the races remaining in this season's Chase. Mark Martin and Tony Stewart are the only drivers I believe have any shot at catching Johnson, and with them, it's only a matter of how long they can keep up...
  • Kasey Kahne really gave NASCAR a strike at the heart with what he said after his crash on Sunday. He blamed them for causing the big wreck in the closing laps of the race by throwing one of their bogus debris cautions. This was exactly what Tony Stewart did a couple of years back, but you know what NASCAR does when unwanted truths are uncovered. The funniest part of the whole incident was how the ESPN announcers were defending NASCAR for their actions by saying there were a couple of water bottles thrown on the track. Water bottles??? Those were probably from some hard-core fans who didn't want to have to watch Jimmie win another race...
  • Overall, I must say this was one of the better Fontana races I have seen. I think that moving the race from night to day really improved the racing on the track. The only problem with this race being late in the season is that it favors JJ even more. It is a step in the wrong direction if NASCAR wants to "Johnson proof" the Chase...
That's all I have for this week. Saturday night is the last time we truly go under the lights in 2009, unless you count Texas and Homestead. I remember from last year that Charlotte was one of the most exciting Chase races...



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: AAA 400



  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson for getting his fourth win of the season. He also managed to sweep both of the year's Dover races for the second time in his career. As expected, he dominated from the time the green flag dropped until the checkered flag waved. The only other driver who could have possibly been a threat for the victory was Kurt Busch. The reality is starting to sink in to all of us fans that Jimmie is more than likely going to win a fourth straight championship. His expression in the picture above isn't one of utter excitement like most drivers; he just has a look of plain satisfaction knowing that everything is working out according to plan...
  • Joey Logano's wild ride through the air was like the only exciting part of Sunday's race. His crash looked scarily similar to the one Michael McDowell had in Texas qualifying last season. Tony Stewart appears to be the villain in this incident, but there was absolutely nothing he could do to prevent it because the cause of the wreck was a chain reaction. If anyone takes blame, it should be Bobby Labonte based on my analysis from the replays. This isn't the first time there has been a disastrous multi-car incident at The Monster Mile. I have decided that Dover is Talladega's little brother...
  • Denny Hamlin's 22nd place finish on Sunday made me change my mind about saying that he is a true threat to win this year's championship. Dover has always been a track that trips him up; however, with the top four drivers in points being so consistent each race, perfection is the only way for Hamlin or any other Chaser to stay in the hunt. I know it seems early for me to say this, but I think this year's title has already become a battle between Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson and possibly Juan Pablo Montoya...
  • While scrolling through this week's results, I found it interesting to look at the different excuses the Start and Parkers used when making their dash for the garage. They tell NASCAR that their machines have everything from electrical to brake to transmission to even overheating problems. Joe Nemecheck went as far as using wheel bearing as his reason a few weeks back at Bristol. Interesting, interesting, interesting...
That's all I have for the Dover edition. The next two races on the schedule are Kansas and Fontana. Expect both of those races to be even more boring than this one. Also, expect pretty much the same finishing order with a tweak here and there...


Monday, September 21, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Sylvania 300


  • Congratulations to Mark Martin on getting his first ever victory at New Hampshire. His fifth win of the season was a hard earned one as he had a side by side duel with Juan Pablo Montoya in the closing laps. I don't know how Mark managed to beat him on the outside groove, but only a driver with his level of skill and experience would be able to do something like that. Sunday's victory made us all realize that Jimmie Johnson isn't the sole Chaser to outdrive when it comes to winning this year's championship. This is the best chance Martin has and will ever have at achieving the thing he has most sought throughout his entire racing career. The problem I have with Mark is he tends to take being humble a little too far. I will make a bet that if he wins this year's championship, the first thing he will say in his interview is "Allen Gustafson is the one who won it..."
  • Even though Juan Pablo Montoya got a solid third-place finish, he wasn't too happy with the outcome of the race when it was all said and done. Montoya felt that Mark Martin raced him dirty for the win, but all it came down to was Mark having the fire in him to be extra aggressive in order to secure the victory. I felt there was nothing dirty about it and liked seeing a flame ignite in Martin that has been latent for most of the season. Juan in addition to Mark seems to be a driver who is peaking at just the right time and has a legitimate shot to win this championship. He was the closest this weekend he has ever been to his first victory on an oval, and I have a feeling it is coming in these final nine weeks of the season...
  • Kasey Kahne without a doubt gets my sympathy vote for this week. A blown engine is a helpless feeling to a driver because there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. The blame in a situation like that goes all the way back to the Dodge shop. Even though Kahne's chances in the Chase seem to be gone with the wind, I wouldn't count him out just yet. Every driver seems to have a bad week some time during the ten race stretch, including Jimmie Johnson (usually at Talladega). Perfection is the only option for Kasey from this point forward since his mulligan has already been used up, but his dreams are still within reach...
  • After race one of this year's Chase being in the books, I am starting to have my doubts about Tony Stewart. His poor streak of performances over the past couple of weeks seems to be carrying into the postseason. That is a reason why momentum plays such an important role over the course of the 36-race season. Stewart's rear axle trouble on Sunday led to a 14th place finish and a drop to sixth position in the points standings. He still has plenty of time to get back on track, but it is already starting to look like "Smoke" is going to be the Kyle Busch of 2009...
  • It's time to criticize ESPN this week after raving about them at Richmond. Their post-race show was one of the poorest I have ever seen because they only interviewed the first and second place drivers. Obviously the network was pressed for time, but they left too many things hanging; it is like a research paper when someone forgets to write the concluding paragraph. Even though FOX's coverage seems kind of cheesy, I really like it that they always make sure to wrap everything up...
That's all I have for the New Hampshire edition. In my opinion, next week's trip to the Monster Mile is one of the most critical races for the drivers in the Chase. If you have noticed from past years, the guys who survive Dover are the ones still alive at Homestead...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Chevy Rock & Roll 400



  • Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on getting his second victory of the season. The Virginia native's dreams finally came true by getting that long sought after victory at Richmond. For the past couple of years, late race obstacles have constantly taken him out of contention just when he thinks he has the win in the bag. Hamlin's eyes in the picture above show how much this victory means to him. It didn't come easy either as he fought tooth and nail with Jeff Gordon for most of the night. A spark in this team has ignited over the past month that will definitely make them a force to be reckoned with throughout the next ten weeks. Remember, the driver who has won this race the past two years has gone on to win the championship...
  • Kyle Busch drove his heart out to a fifth place finish, but the strong run still wasn't enough to put him in the top 12 in points at race end. It just doesn't seem right that the guy with four wins missed the Chase, but all that does is once again prove the importance of consistency week in and week out. He showed the most maturity I have ever seen from him in his post-race interview. Busch realized that it was pointless to kick himself over the results of one race because he has had 25 other races where he could have done better. One day, I hope all of these misfortunes will be the medicine he needs to propel himself to a championship. He reminds me a lot of Tony Romo; they both seem to falter at the times when perfection is crucial. These next ten weeks will be very interesting for us fans. Kyle Busch is out to prove a point to NASCAR nation, and absolutely nothing will be on his agenda except getting ten consecutive victories to add to his racing resume...
  • Brian Vickers achieved something this year that never would have happened if he hadn't been dumped by Hendrick Motorsports. Many people thought that when he signed with Red Bull Racing he would just turn out to be another Jamie McMurray or Reed Sorenson, but this season he has reached a talent level higher than anyone ever expected. Don't be surprised if he is one of the guys still in the running when Homestead comes around; just remember what Clint Bowyer did two years ago under the radar...
  • Ever since Matt Kenseth kicked off the 2009 season by winning the first two races, the rest of his year has been nothing but downhill. It was no surprise by the way Kenseth has been running lately that he missed his first ever Chase after making the postseason for five consecutive years. These next ten races need to be time for him to regroup and get his act back together. I thought it was kind of funny how confident Rusty and Brad were in the pre-race show about Matt's chances from a 28th place starting position...
  • I have to say that I think this was one of the best short-track races I have ever seen. It was the most intense cut-off race since the Chase has been in existence; one position could make or break a guy's season. We got to watch side by side racing for the lead all night long; I thought that battle between Hamlin and Gordon would never end. ESPN also did a fantastic job with constantly keeping us up-to-date on the points situation and taking the time to interview all 12 Chasers in the post-race show. I can see why Richmond is almost every single driver's favorite race track; it might just become mine too...
That's all I have for this week. We are just days away from the start of the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. This is the time of the season when drivers really step up their game. Who will be this year's Greg Biffle? Will Jimmie Johnson win a fourth straight championship? The answers to these questions plus many more are going to be revealed over the next ten races...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Pep Boys Auto 500




This week's edition of The Speeding Bullets comes to you high up from Turn 3 of the Atlanta Motor Speedway with a panoramic view of all the racing action. Enjoy!
  • Congratulations to Kasey Kahne on getting his second win of the 2009 season. He started from the shotgun position and stayed near the front most of the night. Kasey was the beneficiary of the late race debris caution which was just what he needed to set up his race-winning pass on Kevin Harvick. This victory pretty much solidifies Kahne's spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and will give him some extra breathing room during Saturday night's showdown in Richmond, Virginia...
  • Kevin Harvick got a hard-earned second place finish on Sunday night. This team needed a confidence boost in the midst of what his been an incredibly disappointing season. Since Kevin is out of Chase contention though, his stout performance just feels like another loss because all he seeks is a trip to victory lane. He definitely had the car to beat all race long but totally got screwed over by NASCAR when they decided to throw the debris caution in order to tighten up the field. The yellow flag proved to be so devastating to him because Harvick seemed to have more of a long-run car whereas Kahne's short-run car propelled him to victory in the 11-lap shootout. Even though I was really rooting for Happy to break his painfully long winless streak, the final restart made it extra exciting to be in the stands...
  • Juan Pablo Montoya came one step closer with a third-place finish to making his first ever Chase. He led quite a few laps throughout the evening and looked as if he might take the checkered flag. Montoya is racing top-notch every week and will sooner or later get that much-wanted victory on a NASCAR oval. With him being at eighth place in the standings, making the postseason is not a guarantee as anything can happen in a short track Saturday night. Juan just needs to not let the pressure get the best of him and make sure he continues to stay on top of his game...
  • Even though Carl Edwards sits at a solid fifth place when it comes to points, this season continues to go more and more downhill for him. His 37th place finish this weekend gives me the opportunity to dog him once again; Atlanta is supposed to be one of his best tracks! I don't know whether it is being married or having the Aflac duck on the hood of his car every week, but something is obviously affecting his performance week in and week out. At some point, I hope being winless after 25 races will finally hit him hard in the head, so his old fire will return to the Sprint Cup Series...
  • I want to wrap up this week's edition by talking about just how successful of an event this was for Atlanta Motor Speedway. I read an article in the newspaper saying that the track had the largest crowd it has seen in at least six years. Even with a tough economy, 116,000 fans hungry to get their racing fix filled the stands. The track owner said he took a huge risk by moving his second race from Halloween to Labor Day, a risk that paid off in a way that will be remembered for years to come. I found out an interesting fact the other day: my great-grandfather attended the first day race ever held at AMS, and my dad and I just attended the first ever night race there...

That's all I have for this week. The final race before the Chase cutoff is only three days away. Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers will be doing anything and everything to get inside the Top 12 in points and continue on in their quests for the 2009 Sprint Cup championship...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pep Boys Auto 500 Race Pictures

Hey everyone,

I arrived home in the wee hours this morning from an action-packed and awesome trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Sprint Cup race. I have taken quite a few pictures from the event to share with all of you. Enjoy!

This first shot is of A.J. Allmendinger at his pre-race autograph session. Since tickets were only sold in advance, I could only see him at a distance...


This next one is of the boys on the set of NASCAR RaceDay setting the stage for the night's 500-mile showdown...


In the next hour or so, my dad and I walked around and took advantage of all the free stuff. We were handed everything from Goody's headache powder to mini-sticks of Degree V12 deodorant. My dad even managed to win a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. mouse pad. Our favorite part though was getting free pork barbeque at the Prilosec booth. The tasty sauce just left us wanting more....


This next one is of the Sprint Cup trophy on display. They happened to be throwing out a bunch of ballcaps when we went in the Sprint zone. I didn't catch one, but it is amazing what some race fans will do for a free hat...


We wrapped up our pre-race musings by watching a motorbike show and saw the guys do some amazing flips. By then, it was time to make the walk to our seats on the third turn. They were nine rows from the top of the grandstands and gave us a bird's eye view of all of the action...

After watching the driver intros, it was finally time to get the race under way. This next picture is of the planes zooming right over our heads during the flyover...


These next pics are of the actual race. I tried to only post the ones that didn't turn out too blurry.

An interesting part of the event as a spectator was when this guy in our section threw a beer can down onto the track. I don't know if you saw it on t.v. or not since it was below the yellow line. I was surprised that the safety crews didn't notice it and come pick it up...







This is of Reed Sorenson when he blew a tire to bring out one of the yellow flags. It happened right by where we were sitting, so the blow sounded like a sonic boom!


Overall, I found the whole race to be pretty exciting. There were side-by-side battles for the lead all evening long, and each double-file restart got all of us fans on our feet. The last bogus debris caution added a bunch of drama to the finish. Too bad for Harvick; he was totally sabotaged. I was really rooting for him to get that victory...

On our way back to our car we got to watch a post-race fireworks show to top off our night. My dad and I had a great time and will want to go back again next year.

The Speeding Bullets are soon to come...



Monday, August 24, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Sharpie 500



  • Congratulations to Kyle Busch on getting his fourth victory of 2009. This win gave him a much-needed boost of confidence heading into the final two races before the Chase cutoff at Richmond. He went into Saturday night's race knowing the marks he had to meet and the statement he needed to make to NASCAR nation. Busch is now only 34 points out of 12th place in the standings. It isn't going to be easy for him to make the Chase, but it now looks possible for a driver with his level of talent . Bristol has always been one of his dominant tracks as he proved by sweeping both of the races there this season. He better just be happy that Mark Martin chose to race him the way he did in the closing laps; otherwise, the outcome of the race could have been quite different...
  • Mark Martin made his 1,000th career Cup start on Saturday night and dominated most of the race from the pole position; it's too bad he didn't end up in victory lane. He said that the reason that he didn't do the bump-and-run on Kyle Busch was because he didn't feel that Kyle would do the same to him. I understand that Busch giving Martin the inside passing lane prevented the need for a bump, but I just feel that Mark didn't try hard enough to make the maneuver and could have been a little more on the aggressive side. Kyle is the type of guy who will do whatever it takes to win a race...
  • Marcos Ambrose is edging closer and closer to that first ever Cup victory. He is proving to be much more than just a road racer and a serious threat to win races week in and week out. I know that making the Chase is an unreachable goal for 2009, but he very well could have a shot at contending for the title down the road...
  • The Mistake of the Week award for the Bristol night race goes to Jimmie Johnson's jackman. The saying proves true once again that a race can be won or lost on pit road. Johnson pretty much had a win in the bag until his jackman somehow dropped the jack during a tire change. Jimmie made a great recovery and ended up with an eighth place finish; that right there is a mark of a true champion. I can still picture seeing the guy's face on t.v. trying to explain himself. Denial, denial, denial...
  • The first half of the race about put me to sleep after having to get up at 6 a.m. for a cross country meet, but the second half was pretty action-packed. It was crash after crash after crash as a result of 43 competitive drivers on a Saturday night at Bristol. Clint Bowyer's Chase hope was shattered along with all of the torn-up race cars thanks to Michael Waltrip's tire going down. There's just something about Mikee and Bristol that don't go too well together...

That's all I have for the Bristol edition. Next week, the drivers get one final off-week before the 2009 season hits the home stretch and the intensity reaches an all-time high.
The guys who are on the bubble of making the Chase will get to sit in their La-Z-Boy recliners waiting in agony for their fates to be decided...

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: CARFAX 400

Hey everyone! If you haven't already noticed, I decided to change my blog title from Sidekick Sports to Analytical Afterthoughts because I am going to start writing about some topics other than NASCAR. I know Thursday is kind of late to look back at Sunday's race, but I have been incredibly busy this week. Enjoy!

  • Congratulations to Brian Vickers on getting his second career win and breaking a painfully long winless drought. His fuel tank held up just long enough for him to take the checkered flag. Now, we can officially say that he has a legitimate victory in the Cup Series since his only other one at Talladega in the fall of 2006 caused a lot of controversy around the sport. Vickers has impressed me lately; he is the new Ryan Newman when it comes to winning poles. It's nice to see a different face in victory lane, and I wish him the best of luck on making the Chase. He is only 12 points out and has the momentum necessary to power him into the postseason...
  • Jimmie Johnson has made history in my record books by becoming the first ever driver to sweep the year's Mistake of the Week awards at a single track. He made the same error both times by trying to stretch his fuel tank a little too far. I guess I kind of expected Johnson to have learned from it back in June and not let it happen again. I know you are going to tell me that he had nothing to lose by going for the win because of his position in the standings, but I feel that this mistake was just plain stupid. You know Jimmie is rolling the dice too much when he is trying to save even more fuel than he tried to last time when his tank hit empty...
  • Finally, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets a third place finish under command of Lance McGrew. It's been a long time coming with many struggles along the way. Junior's last noticeably good finish was his second place run at Talladega in April. I really thought towards the end that he was going to make it to victory lane, but he didn't have enough time to overtake the stout Brian Vickers. After watching the race on Sunday, I have decided that Toyota's get better fuel mileage at Michigan than Chevy's do. Did you notice that NASCAR decided not to throw any of their bogus debris cautions when they realized Junior had a chance to win???
  • Rain, rain, go away. Even on a bright sunny day in the Irish Hills of Michigan, a light shower still manages to wet the track enough to have a 45-minute delay. I do have to give them credit though for efficiently getting the race resumed. This is the third week in a row though that rain has some how affected the race. Are you taking notes NASCAR??? It looks like you may have some rescheduling to do...
  • Kudos for this week go out to three drivers you may not expect to find finishing in the top ten: Sam Hornish, Jr., Casey Mears, and Joey Logano. All three of them got much needed boosts in confidence to help them down the road. It seems like this is the year that the Indy car drivers like Montoya and Hornish, Jr. are finally starting to get the hang of stock car racing...

That's all I have for the Michigan edition. Next week is the race we have waited all season long for, the night brawl at Bristol. Tempers always flare and crucial points are on the line. Let's just hope it doesn't turn into a day race...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Speeding Bullets: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard



  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson for being the first ever man to win two consecutive Brickyard 400s. He didn't have the best car out there but capitalized on the opportunity when this victory practically fell into his hands. The double-file restarts were what gave him the chance to pass Mark Martin on the outside line in the closing laps. Johnson already has three wins this season and will get a couple more before the cut-off date at Richmond. It's the time of the year where he begins to make his power move that will very likely propel him to a fourth straight championship...
  • Mark Martin continues to have stout performances week after week. He became the oldest Sprint Cup pole winner ever at Indianapolis and came up just short of getting his long sought Brickyard 400 victory. I could tell in the final laps that he was absolutely driving the wheels off that machine and tried every possible maneuver to overtake Jimmie Johnson. I still don't think Martin will win the championship, but he sure will give whoever wins it a run for his money. Instead of being 50 years old, this guy is 50 years young...
  • It's now time to address the topic that has brought much controversy to the motorsports world the past couple of days: Juan Pablo Montoya's race day on Sunday. He absolutely dominated all race long and led 116 out of the 160 laps. Many people thought that he was bound for history with his retro paint scheme from when he won the Indy 500. His dream run came to a halt though when two of the six trackers along pit road supposedly caught him speeding. He came over the radio and said that NASCAR screwed him over because he was confident that he was going the right speed. It's hard to say whether NASCAR sabotaged him or not. After much dilemma, I have finally decided that I think NASCAR tried to be fair with him based on the electronic information they were given. The problem very well could have been that the scoring monitors were messed up; I know they have been troublesome in the past. It's just a shame that he had such a great car and didn't even leave there with a top ten finish...
  • Montoya isn't the only guy leaving the Brickyard with sour feelings. His best friend Kyle Busch (lol) took a hard hit in many ways as a result of blowing a right front tire. He is having the luck now that he had in the first two races of last year's Chase. Busch currently sits at 14th place in the points on the outside looking in after two consecutive finishes outside of the top 30. I am starting to doubt his chances of making the postseason if he doesn't get things turned around in a hurry. Hopefully, he can grow and learn from all of these hardships and use them as medicine...
  • I didn't think I would ever do this, but I am going to compliment ESPN's coverage on Sunday. I really enjoyed the in-depth interviews with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch that they showed during the pre-race show. I was also excited to get to watch the driver intros live on t.v. for once. Maybe watching these last 16 races isn't going to be as bad as we all thought it would...

That's all I have for this week. I just want to let you guys know there will be no bullets next week for Pocono as I am going out of the country. Thanks for taking the time to read another edition of The Speeding Bullets!