Rain, Rain, Go Away · Jess Nicholas · Wednesday June 21, 2006
Q: I would hope, as NASCAR continues to grow, that it can come to some kind of consensus on how to properly end a race where rain is a factor. The Michigan race was called much too quickly. Not only could they possibly have gotten it all in on Sunday, but there are six other days in the week. With the importance each race brings to the Chase for the Nextel Cup, there's too much to be won or lost based on who guesses right on a pit stop when rain is near. The Bard
A: I agree to a point. I definitely agree this race was stopped too soon, given that darkness wasn't going to come to that area until 9 PM. I would rather see a race continued over two days than stopped just past halfway, just for the reasons you mention. Still, there has to be some kind of limit. Let's say Michigan got dumped on for four days straight – do you dare to finish that race on a Thursday, before the teams have to be in Sonoma on Friday? A little more patience on NASCAR's part would have helped in this case, but overall they made a good call at Michigan.
Q: What were Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte thinking when they pitted just before the deluge? Both guys cost themselves great finishes. Merd
A: It blows my mind that every team doesn't put a guy in a RV with a walkie-talkie and tell him to watch the Fox or NBC broadcast of the race, and call them if something pertinent gets said. Many times, strategy gets revealed over the TV broadcast, and who has better weather tracking skills than a television station? Maybe there's some kind of gentleman's agreement that I'm not aware of, where a team's support staff is supposed to stay away from televisions during the race. If I were the crew chief, I'd have a guy in front of a TV and another guy on the Internet, maybe listening to other teams' radios, too, all the while relaying the information to me. The short answer to your question is that whoever made the call to pit those two cars and a bunch of others ended up getting their drivers hosed.
Q: Chip Ganassi's biggest problem is Felix (Sabates). He is a real success in business, but his ego and his abilities in racing give us all sorts of trash from FitzBradshaw. A QB who couldn't call his own plays and Sabatas' son-in law = no winner. foxbat73
A: I bet there's never a dull moment around their team headquarters, at least. When those two guys (Ganassi and Sabates) get mad, they sweat Tabasco sauce.
Q: (On Scott Riggs' driving, from last week's column) "He’s also young, handsome, and Valvoline loves him." Riggs is about the same size as Mark Martin and has the sponsor that Martin made into a household name, via TV ads. Perhaps Valvoline thought that Riggs would be the next Martin? Beyond that, there are no similarities between the two drivers. dr
A: Agree. Martin is the cleanest race car driver I've probably ever watched. Riggs still suffers from a little too much "Ready…Fire…Aim."
Q: Has Tony Stewart killed Jeff Green yet? Bricklayer
A: No one in the world is probably happier that Tony is rehabbing a broken shoulder right now than ol' Jeff.
Q: I'd like to have about two dozen models of that car Dale, Jr. drove in the race. I bet I could make a million on eBay. Tom
A: Just in case you'd like to know, a quick check of eBay Wednesday night revealed 1/64 scale cars of the special scheme going around $20, and 1/24 scale cars going around $50. That's a little short of a million, but you could at least buy dinner at Red Lobster.
Got the evidence to prove Tony Stewart turned that sledgehammer in Jeff Green’s direction anytime this week? Ever had Chip Ganassi or Felix Sabates sweat…on you? Email email@example.com with the details…or send him a question / comment about anything NASCAR, and you might be in this very space next week!
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