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...

6 comments:

tylerhead24 said...

In 2007 I didn't even think Vickers was going to amount to a Sorenson or a McMurray, I pictured him being a Jeff Green, championship caliber in the Nationwide series but being an also-ran in the Cup series. Here we are two years later and he's in position to possibly win the championship. Nice wrap-up, and nice win by Hamlin, its been a long time in the making at Richmond.

jon_464 said...

Gonger, good SB's as usual. The Hamlin-Gordon battle was one of the best side by side races I've seen in years. If Denny wins the championship this year, he can look to this race, and the side by side battle with Gordon, as a stepping stone.

While I think Denny will be in it the rest of the way, I still think Jimmie Johnson is the man to beat. I picked him in preseason and I'm not straying from him now.

klvalus said...

Hey Gonger - I too thought it pretty funny how confident Brad and Rusty were about Kenseth's chances. In years past, yes I wouldnt bet against our beloved robot but this year they have been pretty awful.

And no, I dont think it a coincidence that the entire Roush organization was behind the 17...!

jmayer1843 said...

Good Stuff! I too thought this was a very good race, and I'm thrilled for Hamlin. The #11 team looks to be as good now as it has ever been.

Gene Haddock said...

Great stuff, Gonger. I have to say this is your best work ever. The way you put this together is fantastic.

Only one question...Will Kyle go for wins? Or, will his team use these 10 races as a test session for next year? OK, two questions.

gonger93 said...

Tyler- Thanks man! Vickers has been this year's biggest surprise.

Jon- Thanks. Jimmie definitely seems like the man to beat, but I just have a feeling that he's going to come up short this time.

Kristen- I could tell it was going to be a long night for Kenseth before the race even started.

jmayer- Thanks. This is Hamlin's best ever chance to win the championship, and I wouldn't be too surprised if he pulls it off.

Gene- Thank you so much. I am quite flattered because I didn't think this was one of my better issues. Kyle's definitely going to go for the wins! It would be unlike him not to.