Archive | October, 2012

Race Recap: Hollywood Casino 400

23 Oct

Okay, full disclosure: I didn’t watch this past weekend’s race.  I rented “The Hunger Games” instead, and it was pretty awesome.  Best 74 cents I’ve ever spent (thank you, Redbox!!!).

I just got caught up on the race highlights, however, thanks to NASCAR‘s wonderfully produced “Race Rewind” (which as I’ve mentioned before, is a must-watch any time you miss a race).

Here’s the tweet that sent me to the Race Rewind for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas, by the way (so I knew right off the bat that Matt Kenseth won):

…and here is the NASCAR.com recap of the race.

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Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.

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Some thoughts on the race (or more accurately, some thoughts on the Race Rewind for Kansas):

  • Did you hear the announcer say (Race Rewind, Lap 32) that they were expecting “maybe half a dozen” cautions? HA! (There were a track-record 14 on Sunday).
  • Everyone knows that Tony Stewart is a psycho, right?  RIGHT???  (See Race Rewind, Lap 74: “Feel free, at any point guys, to get your heads out of your @$$es.”)
  • Check out the Race Rewind at Lap 147 after Brad Keselowski almost hits the wall.  The dash cam has a perfectly placed Dodge logo that looks suspiciously computer-generated.  Here it is:

Check out that Dodge logo. Looks Photoshop’d.

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Here’s a question:

  • When Greg Biffle hits the wall and slides across the grass into Pit Lane (Lap 174), he was allowed to go straight to his pit box without entering Pit Lane at the beginning???

Greg Biffle takes a shortcut to his pit box on Lap 174.

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EarlyTweet of the Week” candidates:

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So, another week of the Chase down, and the Top 3 remain the same: (1) Brad Keselowski, (2) Jimmie Johnson, and (3) Denny Hamlin.

Everyone else better start making moves or one of these three will win the championship this season.

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Next Sunday, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Ridgeway, Virginia, for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway a.k.a. “The Paperclip.”

Now… we’ve already had a “Fast Relief” race name this season (The Goody’s Fast Relief 500, also at Martinsville), so couldn’t we have been a little more original, Tums??

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Race Recap: Bank of America 500

15 Oct

NASCAR racing under the lights.  There’s nothing like it, am I right?

Clint Bowyer celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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The big news around the NASCAR world heading into the weekend was that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would be out two weeks due to his second concussion in six weeks.

The first was suffered during a crash while tire testing at Kansas on August 29th, and the second was suffered during the last-lap wreck at Talladega last weekend (after which he drove Jimmie Johnson back to the garage, oddly enough).

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (88) gives Jimmie Johnson (left) a lift back to the garage after the final lap wreck at Talladega.

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The two-week absence effectively eliminated Dale Jr. from Chase contention, as points in the standings are awarded to drivers, not their car or team owner.  It also marked the first time in 33 years(!) that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run without an Earnhardt in the field.

In the end, Clint Bowyer came away with the victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which marked the half-way point in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  Thanks to his win, Bowyer moved up a spot to fourth in the Chase standings.

With five races left in the Chase, it’s looking more and more like this year’s Sprint Cup Series Champion will be Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, or Denny Hamlin.  Overall, the trio remained in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, after this weekend.

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Some thoughts on the race:

  • Great job by Matt Kenseth avoiding major damage when he spun out after the cut tire early in the race, no?
  • During that Kenseth spin-out, wasn’t it funny listening to Keselowski’s spotter?  “In the middle… on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom, on the bottom… caution’s out.”
  • Wasn’t it odd watching someone other than Dale Jr. in the 88?
  • Did the 24 car look awesome this weekend, or what?

Jeff Gordon’s #24 car advertises the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie during the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Tweet of the Weekend:

-Mario Kart reference, ftw!

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Next Sunday, the Chase moves to Kansas City for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.  Don’t miss it!

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Race Recap: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500

8 Oct

Heading into yesterday’s Sprint Cup Series race, all the media talk was about how the Chase standings could be turned upside down if several Chase drivers got involved in a big wreck at Talladega Superspeedway.

Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL.

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[At NASCAR‘s largest tracks (such as Talladega), where the long straightaways and gentle curves allow drivers to mash the gas all the way around, a big, violent wreck is never far away – or at least never feels far off].

As I watched yesterday’s race, I kept waiting, and waiting, for “The Big One” to occur.  In the end, it took a green-white-checkered finish in lap 189 (of a regularly-scheduled 188) for “The Big One” to occur, but it was well worth the wait.

Here’s a video of the final-lap crash that wiped out almost the entire field and turned the race results completely upside down:

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Of the 12 Chase drivers, the two biggest movers in the standings were Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  Gordon gained four places in the standing by finishing 2nd in the race, and Dale Jr. dropped four places in the standings by finishing 20th in the race.

Brad Keselowski remained in the top spot, and Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin remained in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the overall Chase standings.

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As always, I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this week.  Here’s a summary:

  • Restrictor plates are a necessity at larger tracks like Talladega Superspeedway.  Here’s how they work and why they’re important (briefly).
  • The Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 race name comes from the Good Sam Club, which is an international organization for recreational vehicle owners.

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Tweet of the weekend:

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Next weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Bank of America 500.  This one will be under the lights on Saturday night.  Don’t miss it!

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