Monday, June 2, 2014

FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks

Kyle Busch missed his sweep this weekend. What a bummer that was.

I think the worst thing that could have happened in this case did happen.

I mean,what's worse than winning two races in one weekend and not winning the third race due to an incident that was in no way your fault?

Well, actually, there are a few things I could think of but they're irrelevant to the point.

I'm glad Bowyer spotter took responsibility for what happened. It's always nice when situations like this go down and someone steps up and says, "Man, you guys, I really messed up. My bad". Instead of everyone pointing the finger at someone else or at each other and nothing ever really gets accomplished.We've seen the latter happen a few too many times.

This wasn't Kyle's first attempt at a sweep nor would it have been his first sweep and I'm sure he'll try again.

Side note: Am I the only one who doesn't care for the rule change that if you compete in one series in a given season, you can't earn points in another?

It's kind of a letdown that I'll never see Kyle - or anyone for that matter - win two championships in a given year. Personally, I think an accomplishment like that would speak volumes about the driver. But no, NASCAR had to take that away too.

Moving on. Pocono is up next weekend. Hamlin has always been particularly good here. I'll be keeping a keen eye on this next race.

- Jay

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Aaron's 499 at Talladega

Oh man! Denny Hamlin won his first points race of the season!

My family and I were at our usual weekend spot, Red Robin. We were waiting to be seated, all of our stomachs growling at the smell of such deliciousness everywhere, when I noticed the race was on on one of the TVs in the bar.

Much to my surprise, Hamlin was leading with ten laps to go. My eyes probably widen even more when I realized the race was at Talladega! Denny's never been good here. Something bad always happens to him. I was completely shocked to see him not only still in the race but leading it!

It was difficult to try to contain myself as the laps continued to wind down without incident. There was a couple eating at the booth behind us and I must have seriously been pissing off the woman by my little spasms of excitement because she kept giving me dirty looks the whole time. Sorry lady, it's not every weekend my favorite driver is about to win one of the most grueling races of the entire race season.

I threw my hands up in the air when he crossed the start/finish line to take the win and then I quickly dropped them so I wouldn't draw too much attention to myself. We were seated shortly after he won, but I lingered in the bar for just a few minutes until he climbed out of his car. There was no sound on the TV but just from Denny's face, I could tell that he was beyond stoked to finally get a win here.

I went to go sit down after they were done interviewing him, instantly regretting not wearing my Hamlin shirt like I was going to. Still, I was excited nonetheless.

Thanks for the early birthday present, Denny!

- Jay

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Auto Club 400

This race was not what I was expecting but it was still such a blast.

My dad ended up surprising me with pit passes (that he got for free!) and I was totally stoked to wander among the seemingly endless pit boxes for the first time. Of course, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures (and then I wonder why my laptop is running out of memory). I even signed Denny's pit wall!

Unfortunately, my favorite driver out of all my favorite drivers missed the race due to a piece of medal in his eye, so he never saw my handiwork on his wall but he's okay and that's all that matters.

Dad and I stayed in the infield for driver introductions because I wanted to get pictures with my 21x zoom camera, which was the best idea I had all day since I picked the best spot. Kyle pulled a prank on the fans and came out during intros when they announced Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It was hilarious. Due to my laughing, I wasn't able to get a good picture of him.

I was all set and ready to go by the time Denny's name rolled around and there was no Denny. They didn't hesitate and moved right on to the next person. Everyone, including myself, was confused. It's very uncommon for a driver to miss driver introductions. We didn't find out that he would miss the race due to - at that time - an illness. I was not happy.

I had brought my new race scanner with me, hoping to listen to Hamlin's radio the whole time but alas, that plan went out the window. On top of that, I thought it was going to be a real bummer of a race because Johnson and Gordon had led most of it.

I was listening to Kyle Busch's radio the whole day and it did not sound like he had a good car at all. His crew chief would have his team fix something and Kyle would tell them it did nothing for him. Kyle even suggested something at one point but even he turned around and changed his mind. Though for having a bad car, he wasn't ever to far behind.

Then a miracle happened. Johnson blew a tire and that put Gordon in the lead, leaving Kyle in third. They all pitted for tires, though some guys like Tony Stewart, took only two. Somehow, I knew that four tires, like Kyle took was going to be the key to winning the race.

Sure enough, the race went green and Kyle blew through the cars in front of him in no time. I was practically pulling my dad's arm out of its socket from my excitement. Kyle won the race and I screamed like a maniac. Dad just looked at me like I wasn't his daughter and that I was, in fact, some crazy person sitting next to him.

I was surprised to hear so many cheers when Kyle came to the start/finish line to get the checkered flag from the official. Not as many boos as I would have thought. Maybe people are actually starting to like him more? Not that it matters to KB. He once said that he doesn't care about the boos, all he cares about is that people are making noise for him.

It was a good day, even though it wasn't day I had planned for. I hadn't been to the track in six years and both times, something happened to Denny before the end of the race (in 2008, he blew a tire). Perhaps next year I can go again and finally see Hamlin do some real racing.

- Jay

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sprint Unlimited/Budweiser Duels

First off, I've never been a fan of change when it comes to NASCAR and this year is no different. Sadly, change has hardly ever been good in this sport (new Chase rules anyone?). I miss the old format of the Bud Shootout and I don't particularly care for this Sprint Unlimited thing they've got going on now.

The Bud Shootout took pole winners from the previous year and pitted them against each other. Now, we've got some kind of bologna going on with there being "representation" of all the manufacturers in the sport. To me, it just sounds like a joke. Heaven forbid we upset our sponsors because their drivers don't know how to win poles. Ugh.

But anyway, Denny Hamlin won both the Sprint Unlimited and the Budweiser Duel he was in, so it's fine - I'm not entirely disappointed (though I may be a bit biased).

It gives me good vibes that Hamlin just might make a good showing at the Daytona 500 - if not win the darn thing. Neither Daytona or Talladega have been particularly good to him in the past, unfortunately. But that could all change this year (fingers crossed!).

I'm hoping that Hamlin can come back from a such a disastrous year last season and bring some real heat to this competition. I don't really want to get into the details about the reasons Hamlin missed his first Chase of his career last year but I am glad to see this rivalry between Denny and Joey Logano is over.

Honestly, it was all in good fun when it started. I confess it even made me giggle a time or two. However, when it gets taken out onto the track and people get hurt and seriously hurt at that, it loses all the fun.

I'm still a fan of Logano and the past is the past. End of story.

- Jay

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Season, New Start!

Though I don't watch races as much anymore, I am always on top of what's going on in the world of NASCAR.

I want to start writing in this blog again, but it probably won't be every weekend. I'm thinking I'll post when something interesting happens that I particularly feel the need to express my opinion on (which could be every weekend, who knows!).

I am probably going to the Sprint Cup race out here in California this year, so I will most definitely be posting about that.

I will see you when I see you but let us hope we have a very exciting year!

- Jay