Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Speeding Bullets: 2010 Auto Club 500



This weekend has marked the one-year anniversary of The Speeding Bullets. It was all of you who encouraged me to transform a simple idea when I was pressed for time into my weekly racing blog...

  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on getting his 48th career victory only two races into the 2010 season. Usually, it is a couple more months before we see him in the winner's circle, but this year he got back in his old racing groove earlier than he ever has before. Kevin Harvick reeled him in and was in the position to make the race winning pass, so Johnson was really fortunate when Happy scraped the wall with a couple of laps left. This team's luck just never runs out, and that is a big reason why he is right where he wants to be on the quest for Sprint Cup number five...

  • It is evident by being the points leader that Kevin Harvick has had the best car in both of the races run so far, but something always gets in the way between him and the checkered flag. Last week, it was choosing the wrong drafting partner late in the race and this week he struggled on pit road. He spun his tires various times when he exited his pit box, but what really came back to bite Harvick was having to start at the tail end of the longest line as a result of a speeding penalty. Hopefully, he will learn from these early season mistakes because they can be deadly later in the year when a lot more is on the line...

  • After being latent for most of 2009, it looks as if Jeff Burton is finally coming back around. He was a contender week in and week out throughout the 2008 season and looks to be the same this year. Burton definitely had a car to win Sunday's race but just ran out of time to catch the leader as a result of being held up by Harvick in the closing laps. I always like seeing the veteran drivers having success and giving the young guns a run for their money...

  • Joey Logano seems to have started getting the hang of things in his sophomore year. So far, the 19-year old hasn't finished out of the top 20 in either race and earned himself a top five this weekend. Logano is beginning to evolve into the great racer everyone expects him to be. Some fans assumed he would grasp Cup racing right from the get go, but even the most talented of racers still have a steep learning curve to work their way through. Joey's next goal should be to make the Chase which will require him to overcome the struggles he has had with consistency...

  • How long is it going to take NASCAR to realize that February is not a good time to go to California??? Every year, rain affects the race one way or another whether it is merely just a five minute shower or a torrential downpour that makes water seep through cracks on the track. My advice is to switch the spring races here and at Phoenix which would be a win-win situation for both venues. I did find it pretty entertaining, though, to watch Darrell Waltrip try to play weather god by telling the rain where to go. He just seems to act dumber by the week...

That's all from Fontana. I thought that the racing was pretty good despite all of the hard criticism about it. Now we're on to Las Vegas for a weekend of rolling the dice in Sin City...

5 comments:

Gene Haddock said...

Great points, again, Gonger.

I was surprised by all the lead changes in Fontana. If they can put on a good race there, we should have a great season!

jon_464 said...

Gonger, congrats on the one-year anniversary of the Speeding Bullets, and good ones as usual. Jimmie better bring his A game to the track each week because Happy's going to contend for wins week in and week out. Once Happy gets that first win, look the heck out, because he's capable of ripping them off in bunches. As for Logano, he definitely has a shot of making the Chase, and he'll get a win or two this season.

Gonger said...

Gene- Thanks. Everything is looking on the bright side so far. Hope it stays that way...

Jon- Thanks. I can see this Harvick-Johnson rivalry going on for a long time. It may come down to these two battling for the championship at Homestead...

jmayer1843 said...

Congratulations on one full year of bullets! I too like it when the veteran drivers run up front. I thought 2002 was great when Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd all had a chance at the title. Hope someone like that stays up front with the new generation this year.

Gonger said...

Mayer- Thanks. Mark Martin seems to be the only consistently true contender that generation has left. He's good at winning a handful of races each year, but I don't think he will ever be able to truly challenge Jimmie Johnson...