The Frontstretch: Thinkin’ racin’ thoughts as the grill (and the tempers) cools off by Cheryl Walker -- Monday May 30, 2005

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By the time this column is posted, most folks will have headed back off to work as a four-day work week will have commenced. If any are like me, they will be imbibing in acid control and digestive-aide products, due to the intake of heaping rings and chunks of onions on hot dogs and hamburgers. (I used to laugh at my parents’ heartburn and indigestion when I was younger; now I just feel sympathy).

Any NASCAR fan who planned their holiday picnic around the Coca-Cola 600 is still replaying the wildest moments of the race in their minds, which will indeed occupy large expanses of their brain matter, to be sure. Any employer expecting much of their NASCAR fan employees this Tuesday is going to be disappointed. Due to all of the rubbin’, racin’, and retaliation, there’s a whole lot leftover to ponder.

I’m not even going to go into the whole Dale Jr./Michael Waltrip incident. Only Earnhardt, Waltrip, and God know what that was all about. But there is no doubt in my mind that fans of the No. 8 and No. 15 teams everywhere are deliberating, meditating, reflecting and dwelling upon that moment in racing history.

Fans of Jeff Burton must have had an emotional day. Through a lot of the race he was mired in the back, while his teammate wasn’t doing too badly at all. But near the end of the race, Burton was contending. Going from famine to feast, fans of the No. 31 Cingular Chevy team must have perked up mightily, only to have their hopes dashed (again) by a tire going down. It isn’t just going to be Kim sobbing big tears once Burton is back in Victory Lane again; fans of this driver everywhere will be grabbing tissues and honking into them like big babies (and yes, I admit it; I will be one of them).

Bobby Labonte fans did that same famine-to-feast dance as well, but fortunately for them and the No. 18 team, the outcome was much brighter. How many of them do you think had wished for a giant fly swatter to smack that pesky Hendrick No. 48 off the track during that last lap, eh? I’d bet on several thousand (with all due respect to Jimmie Johnson, of course). My son, Joshua (a fervent Bobby fan), is happy for his driver, but is pondering how things would have turned out if not for that pesky red flag. I wonder if today Bobby himself is contemplating and mulling over those ‘pesky’ things, too.

There were other controversial moments, and more cautions and shredded cars than a decent Bristol race. Some fans call it exciting, and some fans call it an awful wreckfest. Some fans are pleasantly pleased and chatting happily at the water cooler today, while others are sulking around their work areas and mumbling under their breath about ‘that jerk so-and-so…’

How are you feeling after that wild race in Charlotte, dear readers?

Me? I’m heading off for more fizzy pills you plop into water.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
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Sharon
05/31/2005 09:48 PM
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The race was a good one. If we could only do something with the biased announcers, it might be better. Don’t you get tired of being told HOW it should be done, WHAT should have be on, and WHO will win????? Whoever they start bragging on, it’s the kiss of death…we have noticed this for some time now.

 

Cheryl is no longer a contributor to the Frotnstretch, having branched out on her own, starting CawsnJaws with her son Josh. If you'd like to see more of Cheryl's Frontstretch articles, check out her bio and archive page.