The Frontstretch: Too Much Time On Someone’s Hands by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday August 12, 2010

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Too Much Time On Someone’s Hands

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday August 12, 2010

 

Despite qualifying on the pole for last Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen, when it came to race time, RK-656 just didn’t have what it took to hold the lead. When they crossed the start/finish line to complete Lap 1, #1012 from the Ganassi stable was pacing the field in his place.

A relative newcomer to NASCAR racing, RK-656 has a record of four starts, two of those being top fives. Debuting in Cup competition in June of ’09, RK-656 soldiered to a 13th-place finish. Later that year, the first of those top 5s, a third-place result, was recorded in August. In 2010, however, things did not start out so well for RK-656 as a 29th-place finish was the best it could muster before last Sunday where it finished 5th. Be that as it may, the real racing at the Glen last Sunday was between another Ganassi entry, #1014, and a foreigner, of whom there was no information available. This was the very first race for the #1014. The only other time it was on the track was during a test session in Virginia back in June.

One of the biggest movers last Sunday was the JGR entry of No. 240. Starting from the rear of the field, No. 240 made short work of anyone in front of it and eventually finished in the eighth position. Like RK-656, No. 240 also made its NASCAR debut in June of ’09. Unlike the RK-656, however, it hasn’t quite made the same impression. Before Sunday’s race, No. 240 has posted finishes of 22nd, 4th and 39th in three previous starts.

The No. 42 crew goes to work on eventual race winner… Chassis #1014.

A pre-race favorite, Hendrick entry No. 543, whose only previous start in NASCAR resulted in a victory in June of this year, was caught up in a late-race battle for real estate between the No. 240 and RCR entry No. 245, which resulted in the No. 543 in the fence and heavily damaged. Ironically, it was a teammate of the No. 240 that tagged No. 543, sending it to the garage.

Probably the biggest surprise of the race, though, was without a doubt PRS-722. PRS-722, in only its second race, was beaten only by race winner #1014. Previously, PRS-722 had finished… oh, the heck with it!!!!

Does anyone have a clue as to what I’m talking about here?

Everything you have read above is factual. None of it was made up, and is information that anyone can look up. But that is my point… information of this type is just plain stupid!

For the record, what you have been reading is the chassis selections for last Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen, as it was posted on jayski.com from team PR.

Now, I can’t say for sure just how long the teams have been releasing this crap, but I can tell you that the week before in Pocono, No. 283 recorded the hardest hit in NASCAR history! Yep, that’s right, it’s the chassis that Elliott Sadler was riding on when he hit the wall.

Who cares?

I have been a NASCAR fan for a long, long time. I used to live and breathe the sport at our local tavern every Sunday (after church, of course) with all my other living and breathing fan friends. I got a girlfriend who is into NASCAR as much, if not more, than me and I know for a fact that she was cheering on RK-656 for all she was worth last Sunday. However, NEVER, in all my years as a fan or a writer, have I ever heard anyone mention the chassis that their driver, or one they hate, was driving!

So what is the point of paying someone to sit and write (sometimes extended paragraphs) bios and histories of chassis? Does someone think we care? Does someone think that other teams are intimidated or swayed in their decisions as to which chassis they may bring by what someone else is bringing? Hell, I’d wager to say that most drivers don’t have a clue as to the number of the chassis they are sitting on! Crew chiefs may care, and apparently some lonely PR reps do, but the rest of us do not! And if you disagree, well, I’m here to tell you – just as your spouse and friends (if you’ve any left) have…you have a problem!

What’s next? Telling us what style of underwear the drivers are planning on wearing? If that is the case, Danica is going to get hounded by the press more than ever!

TMI, TMI…

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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Jim
08/12/2010 08:21 AM
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Hey, as a jounrnalist in these times, you should be happy that these PR firms are paying anybody to write anything.

DoninAjax
08/12/2010 09:48 AM
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TV commentators have been using chassis numbers for a while now. They usually say “Joe Blow has driven chassis number 666-666 before and he has finishes of first, first, third, second and first. He likes it.” But not to the extent you mention.

laxbro
08/12/2010 10:14 AM
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I like knowing the chassis number and history of it before every race of the driver I watch. Don’t see why your so stressed out about it

EZ
08/12/2010 12:31 PM
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Thought I read somewhere that Danica doesn’t wear underwear while driving,that’s why she keeps her bush shaved

Chris in TX
08/12/2010 12:35 PM
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Well, interesting that you mention the Penske #2 in this…as they have a tradition there (stared by Rusty) that the car gets a “real name” if it wins…

Don Mei
08/12/2010 12:36 PM
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It’s actually pretty simple Jeff. Some day when those chassis have become obsolete or too stressed to trust, the teams will slap a body and paint job on, slip in a reject motor and sell them at auction to fat guys with more money than brains all the while touting the documentation they have to show this actual car!!!! (step right up PT Barnum!) was driven by Dale Johnson and finished 17th at bristol. EEEYAHHHH!!!

Don Mei
08/12/2010 12:42 PM
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EZ=AH

Kevin in SoCal
08/12/2010 04:23 PM
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I’ve seen several stories in Hot Rod magazine about guys who have taken actual cars raced in the 60’s and 70’s and restored them to like-new condition. Information such as chassis numbers will help those restorers 30 years from now. Of course, not many will want a COT in their garage? LOL!

mkrcr
08/12/2010 07:36 PM
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Chassis numbers are important, but mostly to the collectors. I do work, from time to time, on a shop for a collector. There are so many cool cars there, including the real 64 Indy 500 Pace Car and many famous race cars. Without those chassis numbers, the collection would be in question.
It’s always “fun” doing overhead work there though. A dropped screw can ruin your day. Talk about stress.

Blob
08/12/2010 09:50 PM
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Maybe my old-timers is kicking in but didn’t they used to do the chassis #‘s all the time? Some of them even had names but I don’t remember any of them except Bertha. Didn’t Rusty name one something unusual? Maybe it was a just a RYR thing—I can’t remember.

When I saw that they were doing that again, I laughed.

Blob
08/12/2010 09:56 PM
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Just read the post from Chris in TX. So i’m not crazy on that one.

Blob
08/12/2010 10:06 PM
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Rusty—-“Midnight”

 

Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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