Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I was impressed with the racing at Sonoma this weekend past. The pole was held by Jamie McMurray, with the second spot going to AJ Almendinger. AJ was thought to be one of the favorites there, with Marcus Ambrose and Kurt Busch also being a top contender. But as the race wound down the leader and winner was Carl Edwards in the 99, this was Cuzzin Carls first road course win out of his many career Sprint cup wins. This was not without some suspense between the drivers. The two biggest complaints came against the "most popular" driver in NASCAR, drum roll please, Dale Earnhardt Jr. AJ thought Jr. didn't give him enough room and made him lose control which ended his quest for a win for the small team, and then near the end Matt Kenseth also thought he wasn't given enough room causing him to run into the safety tire barricade and totally tearing his front end off, do you think the number 88 will be marked on the dash of these two cars? Only time will tell. Jeff Gordon showed he isn't quite ready for the retirement heap yet, coming in second in a close tight final lap that showed Carl keeping the 24 at bay on the second to final turn. The aforementioned Jr. displaying road skills that have not been prevalent in his previous racing starts, came a close third with the newer tires that almost took him to the top. Pole sitter Jamie Mc. came fourth after having a great start but fading middle race, Paul Menard keeping up his resurgence over the last few races capped by his Nationwide win two weeks ago. Kasey Kahne came in 6th and drat, darn, horrors, Jimmie Johnson pulled off 7th. Kevin Harvick again had pit problems, this appears to be wearing on both the #4 driver and his crew. This writer feels there are and always will be adverse conditions between the drivers and the pit crews, that said, it should be kept between the teams, for it to make it into the media, and then, become fodder the teams have to rehash every time a race comes up, detracts from the winning ways everyone needs to win in this high caliber sport. I always have loved "go straight then turn left" be it open wheel, stock car, ARCA, or outlaw, but when you see the diverse qualities needed to drive road style, there is a real need to watch the steady improvement the stock car drivers are showing and not just a few ringers who race a few races and then don't see them til the next race. Case in point is the fine sixth place showing Kurt Busch showed at the Indy 500 and then running well at the Coke 600 and through a mechanical problem being dropped out of the running. Well we are off to Kentucky, Cya'll there and enjoy, to quote an old Bette Davis movie, "hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride".