Back to normal?

June 6, 2011
by Lee

After taking a little more than a week off from writing stories for the site to attend the Indianapolis 500 and visiting family, I am back in East Tennessee and ready to get back on the writing wagon. Let’s start with the Indianapolis 500. This years running of the 500 had to be one of the exciting and heartbreaking finishes that I have witnessed as a motor sports spectator. Who would have thought that J.R. Hildebrand would have hit the wall coming out of turn four to lose the race? Dan Wheldon jumped on opportunities back to win the race with all eyes in the crowd glued to the track and video boards. The expressions of the fans were priceless at the track. Everyone kind of gazed around and wondered if it really happened. It did, and Wheldon enjoyed the icy cold drink of milk that the winner of the 500 takes.

Wheldon won the race fair and square. He was around all day and put himself in position to win the race. What I do question is the speed at which the caution was displayed when Hildebrand hit the wall. Generally speaking, the IZOD IndyCar series is far more consistent on how they display the yellow flag than NASCAR. When debris is on the racetrack, we usually get a great view of the debris and need for the caution to be thrown. When a car gets into the fence, the yellow is displayed within a split second of the incident. With the speed those cars are carrying, and the chances of a car getting into the air when hitting any type of debris, a quick display of the caution is warranted. I felt a little let down by IndyCar that the caution was not displayed as soon as the car hit the wall. If you watch the replay of the end of the race, pay close attention to the flagman. The flagman is looking down the track and sees Hildebrand hit the wall and stops waving the white flag. He then moves to get the yellow flag and stops. My opinion, the flagman knew the yellow should be displayed, but the call never came over the radio to put the flag out immediately. I am not going to take sides on right or wrong, just felt it was not consistent with what we have seen in the past.

Who would have also thought that we would see such fireworks in the garage area after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last weekend at Kansas. Richard Childress got upset with Kyle Busch after he roughed up a Childress’ driver on the cool down lap. Childress reportedly got Busch in a headlock and punched him three times. Going back to what I have said previously about fighting in NASCAR, I generally have no problem with this. I have not seen video of the incident, not sure any actually exists, and it did not take place in the general public eye. NASCAR should acknowledge the event and simply say we talked to them. No fines or probation are needed for this incident. I am sure that Childress will be punished with something, but what happens outside the view of the public should be for drivers, crew members, and owners to deal with on their own accord.

How about Dale Earnhardt Jr. putting together some great runs over the last two weeks. A few more drops of fuel in the tank and he wins the Coke 600. A couple fewer drops of fuel in the tank for Brad Keselowski at Kansas, Earnhardt Jr. wins the race there as well. Jr. is putting it together with Steve Letarte and they are so close to winning a race it is not even funny any more. I would not be surprised to see Jr. get into victory lane within in the next couple of weeks. If you have not used him in your fantasy racing leagues yet this season, get him into the starting line up and soak up the points while the team is hot.

A big thank you to Ken and Adrienne for giving us a place to stay for the Indianapolis 500. Your hospitality and generosity are second to none. Looking forward to seeing you guys again for the Brickyard 400. Good luck to Ken as well as he promotes the upcoming IndyCar race in Milwaukee.

More coverage and commentary later this week. Thank you for stopping by the site, and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @troublinturntwo

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