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Amy Henderson · Thursday July 14, 2005
Here are a few thoughts on 2005 so far.
Best Finish (so far): Atlanta, Golden Corral 500
Rookie Carl Edwards snookered should-be champion Jimmie Johnson off of turn four to take home his first-ever checkered flag in the Nextel Cup Series-exactly one day after winning his first Busch Series race. And to top it off, the kid does backflips to celebrate, illustrating just how clichÃ© the burnout has become.
Worst Crew Swap: NBC
NBC’s announcer switch that sent Allen Bestwick to the pits and Bill Weber to the booth had fans scratching their heads from the day it was announced last fall. I can’t say I like it any better now. This one just might take the pressure off the DEI swap.
Best Reality TV: NASCAR Drivers 360
Hands down the most fun NASCAR show on television. And the best line from the show? Twelve-year-old Matt Martin on his dad’s impending retirement: “Yeah, it’ll be OK for a couple weeks, but then he’s gonna have to find something to DO!”
Least Likely Event: Jeff Gordon vs. Asphalt-Round Two
At least one part of the Coca-Cola 600 looked like an instant replay of Martinsville last spring. For the second time in two seasons, a chunk of track broke off, popped up, and punched a big old hole in Jeff Gordon’s front valance. What are the chances of something like that happening to a driver TWICE? I’d rather bet on being struck by lightning twice. Which, by the way is rumored to have happened to Cale Yarborough-but that’s another story for another day.
Best Decision by NASCAR: A very stiff 2nd substance abuse penalty
By banning Shane Hmiel from even applying for a NASCAR license until 2007, NASCAR sent a message in no uncertain terms that violating their substance policy will not be tolerated. While I feel sorry for a young man who obviously needs to get his life back on track (no pun intended), NASCAR made a safety decision, pure and simple. Whether the substance was illegal or not is not the issue-any substance that can slow reaction time or alter perception is a danger to 43 competitors, even when taken by just one.
Here are just a few of the many stories that 2005 has graced NASCAR fans with so far. Tune in at season’s end for a full rundown. In the meantime, feel free to email me your historical moments of the year-after all, I’m probably not going to remember them all-after all, I am just 50 years shy of 82, and they say the memory is the first to go… But 50 years from now, someone will look back on 2005 and say-That’s History!
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Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.