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...

7 comments:

tezgm99 said...

I'll admit to being one of those people who wasn't sure if Joey was ready for the Cup series....but I also said I was going to wait until the summer before saying anything. He's improved a heck of a lot so I'm happy to say I was wrong :)

jmayer1843 said...

The bullets are back! I did notice that NASCAR put the yellow flag in their pocket late in the race. Too bad Jr. has to do well for that to happen.

Nice job!

klvalus said...

Welcome back Gonger!

Yep, Sam is coming on with some consistency now that Penske has figured out some stuff on the car. I knew he could do it!

Are you contributing to Stork's conspiracy theories about those bogus debris cautions?!? LOL

I respect JJ and Chad for going for the win even if it was incredibly obvious they werent going to make it. Hello fuel mileage test session for the Chase.

Gene Haddock said...

I like the name change.

I noticed the lack of a 'debis' caution at MIs. NASCAR was in a tight spot. If they threw the yellow, that would have given the leaders the fuel to go the distance, so they could only hope that they would run out, or Jr would catch them. Jr wasn't gaining any ground on Vickers for the last few laps anyway, until Vickers slowed noticeably on the last lap.

Good to see you're back on the boards.

Gene Haddock said...

Oops forgot to let you know....your link isn't working from Lug Nuts site.

jon_464 said...

Gonger, welcome back. I like the changes! Bristol's gonna be ROCKIN'! The Bullring. Enough said. Must-see TV, even if ESPN is covering it. When ESPN covered it in the mid-90's, they did a MUCH better job. They were actually GOOD in their coverage. Looking forward to your Speeding Bullets, Bristol edition.

gonger93 said...

tez- Don't feel too bad... lol. I was also one of those people.

jmayer- Thanks. The state of the sport is pretty much based around Junior. NASCAR was probably so thrilled that he even had a chance to win...

Kristen- Glad to be back. Good point about the fuel mileage test session... hadn't thought of that.

Gene- Thanks for letting me know about the link. It was nice to not see any of those bogus debris cautions for a change...

Jon- Thanks. I feel really pumped about it being time for the Bristol night race. One of the ones I look forward to every year...