IndyCar & NASCAR Update 06-29-2011

June 29, 2011
by Lee

It has been a little bit since I have written a significant article for the site. My apologies if you might have been stopping by looking for some commentary or news. A week ago Friday, I had some major dental work done and that put me out of commission for that weekend. Last weekend major storms rolled through Knoxville all week and I ended up having damage to the electrical meter on the side of the house. I was without power from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon. That put a huge wash on the weekend. Things have finally seemed to calm down a bit, so here I am back to putting together some of my racing thoughts.

Saturday night I was fortunate enough to have my neighbor invite me over to his house to watch the IZOD IndyCar Series run at Iowa. I felt it was a fun and exciting race to watch. There was a lot of action on the short track, and I felt we got a surprise winner Saturday night. Marco Andretti beat everyone to the checkered flag for his first win in over 70 races. It was great to see an Andretti back in victory lane. Hopefully that team will now capture some momentum and visit victory lane again in the near future.

I am perplexed by the performance of Danica Patrick in the race though. Danica qualified in the second position for the race. As soon as the green flag dropped, Danica lost positions. It seems to me that Danica can never get the car feeling right to keep the pedal to the floor. Danica is hyped to us every race, yet she seems to disappoint in her performance on track. I do give her credit that she generally stays out of trouble and is running at the end of the race. The problem is that simply running at the end of the race is not good enough for a well funded team. It is my opinion that IndyCar is not going to complain too much if Danica ends up jumping over to NASCAR next season. How long can you continue to be a “star” of the series when your performance does not back up the status?

Let’s move on to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway last Sunday. Kurt Busch nailed the setup for the race and cruised to his first road course victory of his career. While there did not seem to be a lot of action at the front of the pack, there was plenty of bumping and banging going on throughout the rest of the field. Infineon has become what Bristol Motor Speedway was prior to its repaving.

Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers stands out as one of the biggest dustups we saw during the race. Stewart pushed Vickers into the corner and sent him into a tire barrier. Vickers spun and collected a couple of cars with him, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. Vickers had his car repaired and was able to get back on the track. As the race began to wind down, Vickers exacted his revenge on Stewart by sending him into the tires as well. When the race was over, both drivers admitted they intentionally wrecked each other.

I have no problem with this type of payback and racing going on during the race. Stewart felt that Vickers was blocking him early in the race. Vickers said he was not, and paid back Stewart for having his day ruined early in the race. The only problem I have with taking another guy out is when other drivers who were not involved in what got the driver hot under the collar get wrecked. It happens though, and in my opinion the Stewart Vickers feud is over, just as it should be.

My final comment from last weekend’s race is Jeff Gordon. Gordon has become an anomaly to me. Gordon qualified 13th for the race, and dropped positions as soon as the race started. Gordon seemed to be at the back of the pack all day long. This was odd for NASCAR’s driver with the most wins on road courses. Keep in mind, that if the car is bad on a road course, you only get a couple of chances on pit road to make it better. Make the car better is what the crew did. Gordon rallied all the way back to finish in the runner up position. This just shocked me. Over the last couple of years, if Gordon runs bad, it does not seem that he makes up positions or rallies as the race goes on. Gordon has already shown this season he can still win races, but after this weekend the team is showing it can overcome an ill handling car to finish strong.

1 Comment

  • Dave says:

    Interesting point on Herdanicaship. I believe I mentioned to someone during the race that she just rides around. She will be a good mid pack driver in Nationwide next year. I would also like to point out that since you and Mr. Spiller went on a tirade about JG, he seems to be back to being a contender. Never underestimate the 24. That is all.