Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Speeding Bullets: Kobalt Tools 400 '11


  • Congratulations to Carl Edwards on breaking his two-race losing streak.  He may not have had the best car out there, but his team got the job done when the money was on the line.  Taking notes from what Tony Stewart did earlier in the race and putting them to use at the right time is what got him to victory lane.  Watching him do his signature back flip at the start finish time is always exciting and never gets redundant.  Now, Carl can officially say that he won a race at Las Vegas fair and square unlike the scandal from a couple of years ago...
  • Tony Stewart put his emotions into words when he said that second place sucks, but still he had a great day nonetheless.  The two-tire strategy was brilliant; where his team screwed up was getting four tires on the last pit stop.  Tony did his experimenting earlier in the race and found what worked, and once he discovered his race-winning formula he just needed to stick with it.  His car was stellar enough that I don't think Carl could have caught him even if he had been running on some of the same tires for over 100 laps...
  •  Carl and Tony weren't the only guys who had noteworthy results.  Juan Pablo Montoya came home in third and Aussie Marcos Ambrose followed up in fourth.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to cross the finish line in eighth which is unusual for NASCAR's Most Popular Driver; typically it's more like 28th.  After all of his struggles last season, Brian Vickers rose to the occasion with his first top ten finish in a very long time.  It's nice to see he's making a steady recovery...
  •  Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch were the dominant drivers at Phoenix, but this week their experiences were just the opposite... they were the ones doing all of the burnin' and crashin' and smashin'.  And coincidentally, race winner Carl Edwards was in their same shoes last week when he was turned around and sent back to the garage.  So far this season, most of the top drivers have been extremely inconsistent.  It will be interesting to see if their results level out as the year progresses...
  • Trevor Bayne finally got a top 20 finish after his remarkable Daytona 500 victory.  He ran a clean race and stayed out of trouble just as he did a couple of weeks ago.  He started to prove on Sunday that the win in the Great American Race was not some kind of fluke.  I'm pretty sure he got more airtime than the leader of the race did, as FOX was trying really hard to promote its Daytona 500: An American Dream show that airs next week...
  • I don't know if it is just me, but the FOX crew seemed to be extra off their game during the telecast.  Larry McReynolds spent the whole race talking about how their was going to be a caution in the final ten laps, and guess what??? there was no caution.  Darrell Waltrip said that this victory was Carl's first one in over 70 races when the guy won the last two races of the 2010 season.  If DW is going to run his mouth, he at least needs to know what he is talking about.  And all of the commentators were going on and on about how great of a move it was for Tony Stewart to take four tires on the final pit stop, and that decision was what lost him the race...

That's all from Sin City.  NASCAR will head back to the east coast for an early off-week and then will journey into the Bristol Coliseum for a gladiator clash.  The Speeding Bullets will be back in two weeks to discuss all of the drama that unfolds in Thunder Valley...



4 comments:

Gene Haddock said...

I noticed that Bayne has been getting a lot of gloss... not as much as Danica, but a lot.

After DW was corrected about Carl's two race losing streak he then said he meant Tony had a 70 some race treak going. WTH? Tony won races in the Chase last year, DW. It wasn't that many races ago.

Dwindy1 said...

Hey Brent!

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Tony's right sides only to gain track position earlier in the race then dictate a four tire change at the end? I don't think he had an option at that point. A four tire change earlier with many laps to go would have left him time to move through the pack to regain possition and still have the RSO option at the end.

Another big thing in Sunday's race was the tire problems that took more than a couple of the drivers behind the wall. It makes me wonder about the track/tire combination Goodyear used. Are these problems going to continue on the longer tracks?

Good ole Cousin Carl...

Did you see where FOX resigned DW for another two years? LOL

jon_464 said...

Carl didn't originate the back flip--a driver named Tyler (not sure if it was his first or last name) won a race in the late 1980's and he did a back flip after winning. And BTW, I am SO NOT a Carl Edwards fan, so I disagree with your assessment of his back flip. Just sayin'....

Overall, I thought the race was boring. And I DO agree that the Fox crew was WAY off their game.

Brent said...

Gene, at least Bayne's earned his gloss... haha. DW doesn't know what he's talking about; he just likes to hear himself talk...

Dwindy, you're probably right. The four tire change earlier instead of later would have been smarter, but I think in his situation with getting two earlier he still needed to go with two again at the end. He lost so much track position with the pit mistake that he needed to do some drastic stuff to gain it all back. FOX is completely clueless if the resigned DW... haha...

Jon, so I guess Carl actually stole the back flip from someone else and took all of the credit for it. I am kind of a Carl Edwards fan, so I guess we will just have to disagree on my assessment...