April 22, 2006Race Recap)
After a week off for Easter NASCAR comes to Phoenix and the drama continues, with Kevin Harvick finally putting Richard Childress and the Goodwrench Chevy in victory lane. Harvick has been on a roll lately and finally put it all together for the win. He came on strong late and passed Greg Biffle, who later ran out of gas, and nobody had anything for him.
As the final laps closed a number of cars ran out of gas, including Biffle and Mark Martin. Biffle ran strong and up front all night but his car faded near the end of a long run and running out of gas was a nail in his coffin, leaving him with an 16th place finish. Biffle just can't seem to close the deal this year. Martin had a let down of a night with an incredibly strong car. A bad pit stop put him back in the pack and then he ran into the back of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and managed to squeeze his car through a closing gap. He had battled back to the top 5 and was fighting Mat Kenseth and Tony Stewart for second when he ran out of gas and had to settle for 11th.
Tony Stewart continues to show his dominance as he went from deadlast to first. He didn't hold the lead for long, but he had the patience and the muscle to do it and finished strong in second. Matt Kenseth was quiet all day and managed a third place finish, enough to push him past points leader and 7th place finisher Jimmie Johnson and into the points lead.
April 20, 2006Speculating)
1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope was fined $50,000 and 25 points at Texas when NASCAR discovered an improper manifold. According to Cope it wasn't about tricking NASCAR and sneaking in a few more horsepower. It was about being cheap.
The team has only one motor and it has a short track manifold. Thanks to the fine, the team won't be running the next few races. Marty Smith suggests NASCAR should only fine points, since the cash fines don't hurt big teams like Roush or Hendrick, yet they cripple teams like Cope's.
Smith explores some interesting history, including the punishment Cope's lone motor has endured, while a Roush motor would have the valve springs replaced just in case. It's a difference of economy and scale, a difference of cash. Cope doesn't have any, as evidenced by the fact that a $50,000 fine seriously set them back.
With cash in that short of supply, I think Cope should explore blogging. Other racers have turned to eBay to sell sponsorship, I think it'd be interesting to develop a blog following for such a down on your luck, penny-pinching story. I'd follow it.
April 9, 2006Race Recap)
So Greg Biffle dominates early and laps almost half the field today at Texas. After pitting under caution Biffle finds himself back in the pack and pulls ahead of his former teammate and lap down car, Kurt Busch. Bad idea. Busch doesn't give him room and taps Biffle's rear end, starting him wiggling, scrapping the wall and then hits him again and sends Biffle around. For the umpteenth time this year Biffle has bad luck with a great car.
Biffle says Busch wasn't observing proper race etiquette and giving him room. Busch says he doesn't know what happened and thinks Biffle dropped a cylinder. Dropped a cylinder?!
The incident also prompted Greg Biffle's girlfriend Nicole to visit Busch's pit and have a heated exchange with Busch's fiance Eva. Cat fight!
So what's with Kurt Busch? He's not exactly making friends this year, especially with former teammates (He pulled the bump and run on Matt Kenseth at Bristol and bumped Jeff Burton at Martinsville). He wasn't exactly winning fans with his behavior at the end of last year either. Then again, controversy is nothing new for Busch.
Update: Biffle's girlfriend reprimanded by NASCAR. I haven't seen such a ludicrous headline in a while.
April 8, 2006News)
So the rumors are true. NBC's Dateline sent Arab-looking men and a camera crew to last week's NASCAR race at Martinsville to see if NASCAR fans would cause a scene. And what happened? Nothing.
Odd that NBC, which broadcasts half the NASCAR season, would try to make the fans look bad. Guess the only ones looking dumb are NBC.Interviews)
You've got to love Mark Martin. He's sitting in second place in points and he's got 12 years on the next oldest driver in the top 10. NASCAR.com has a fun interview with Martin where he talks about having the time of his life in his final season.
April 1, 2006Speculating)
So all the drama after last week's race at Bristol and it just gets worse. Jeff Gordon wants to be a bad boy (Bobby Labonte suggests he grow his hair long). Dale Earnhardt, Jr., thinks NASCAR issuing fines for swearing on in-car radios that happen to be broadcast live on TV are stupid. And everyone is speculating whether or not Martin Truex, Jr., will get revenge on Jeff Gordon who will get revenge on Matt Kenseth who will get revenge on Dale Jarrett and Kurt Busch.