The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Pocono 500 by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday June 9, 2008

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Pocono 500

Matt McLaughlin · Monday June 9, 2008


The Key Moment: It took Kasey Kahne a few laps after the final restart to get around the No. 88 and 83 cars; but once he got back to the lead, there was no catching him.

In a Nutshell: Since passing was all but impossible on the track, crew chiefs had to engineer various strategies to get their boys to the front in the pits.

Dramatic Moment: The two fastest cars, those of Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin, did get to battle briefly for the lead.

With passing so difficult, Kahne’s run from 38th to the lead after a pit road mishap was the highlight of the race.

What They’ll Be Talking About Around the Water Cooler This Week

What in blazes (pun intended) were the safety crew members thinking as they ambled over to the burning No. 42 car (with its driver still aboard) as if they were heading for a post-race clambake? Truthfully, the track crews at Pocono have rarely cloaked themselves in glory. Even back in the early ’80s, Tim Richmond had to pull Dale Earnhardt from his overturned race car after a nasty wreck at the speedway. OK, we were told that those two indifferent individuals were responsible for the driver — not the car — but the driver was still in the car as they stood there. What, exactly, does their job entail then? Giving the driver a hug and a kiss to make him feel better once he gets out of the car under his own power?

OK, I get it — and I’m sure most of you get it. With this new mutt of a car, the driver up front with clean air on his nose has the advantage. It’s difficult for a driver with a fast car to cleanly pass a slower car ahead of him, and it’s ruining racing. When is someone at NASCAR going to figure this out?

Did it look like the No. 9 car of Kasey Kahne and the two Red Bull cars were still dog-trotting a lot more than the rest of the cars? Didn’t NASCAR order the teams to limit this?

ESPN tried a brave new concept in race broadcasting Saturday night, as they joined the Texas IRL race already in progress. They had live audio of the race, which was on lap 49, while the video showed the pre-race program. Overall, it was about the stupidest thing I’ve ever witnessed. See you in seven weeks, ESPN.

It sure was nice to see some side by side racing even early in an event, with drivers using the draft to blow by their competitors while some excitement at a race track stirred up again. Unfortunately, this all happened Saturday night in the IRL race at Texas — not at Pocono in Sunday’s Cup race. With that type of competition rising, NASCAR’s corporate complacency ill behooves the organization. After all, a couple decades ago nobody ever thought stock cars would eclipse open wheel racing to become this country’s top rated racing series.

Note to Kyle Busch: You might want to concentrate on your day job. The whole Triple Crown thing didn’t work out too well for Kyle Busch or Big Brown. While the two have a lot in common — particularly the horse’s hindquarters and Busch’s personality — there are also some key differences. Fans don’t boo Big Brown and while the horse suffered a hoof injury, Busch suffers from hoof in mouth disease.

Kyle Busch attempted three races in three different cities in one weekend, with little to show for it. He went 0 for 3 on Victory Lane and left Pocono with two damaged Sprint Cup cars on the weekend.

Did it seem the former open wheel racing stars at Pocono seemed to run into each other a lot on Sunday? Dario Franchitti, who is still healing from a fractured ankle, didn’t need to get beat around any more; that’s tossing a man into the river who don’t need to be swimming.

It’s kind of a sad commentary on the slow start that Tony Stewart has gotten off to this season when he has to host his own race to finally win an event. Seriously, though, the Prelude to a Dream raised over one million dollars for the planned Victory Junction Camp in Kansas City, and any event that raises that sort of money for such a worthy cause should be applauded. (But I couldn’t help but wonder about that big bowtie on the front of Stewart’s race-winning car. The folks at Toyota had to be delighted…)

Twins separated at birth? Larry McReynolds and Charlie Brown. Maybe FOX tells McReynolds they want him to play the cornpone bit for all it’s worth, because Larry’s diction and demeanor seemed to move from the third grade level to the middle school level in one week. And who would have guessed? The drivers knew to start racing on Sunday when the green flag dropped — even without somebody screaming “Boogity, boogity, boogity” at them.

The pre-race piece on Bobby Allison, respectful without becoming maudlin, was the highlight of the broadcast. But the first time somebody tries selling me a Race Buddy T-shirt, plush toy, or drinking vessel, I’m leaving for the summer.

With the big three Detroit automakers shuttering truck factories and emphasizing cars rather than trucks, will any of them support the Truck Series next year? Only Toyota still seems to be pushing big trucks, though Tundra sales are tumbling too. With no title sponsor for the series, will the trucks even be back next year? In an era of four dollar a gallon gas, trucks are suddenly not very PC.

Once again, I am forced to go out of character and ask a personal favor. Please extend your prayers or good thoughts to my nephew Shane, who was seriously injured in a single vehicle late night motorcycle accident on Saturday night. He faces a long uphill battle to recover. As most of you know, I am a devoted motorcyclist myself. His dad (who has ridden for decades) and I taught Shane to ride at a very young age on an old XR75 I found at Carlisle, but he had limited street riding experience. The kid decided with gas at four dollars a gallon and a teenager’s salary he couldn’t afford to drive his truck anymore, so he got a bike. That’s not a unique story lately. I urge any of you who decide to start motorcycling or return to the saddle after a long layoff to take an AMA-approved Rider Safety course, and to select a mount that reflects your experience level to start out on. Unfortunately, Shane was on one of those laydown Japanese rockets that dealers and individuals are all too happy to sell to a kid with a permit. He’s a good kid who made some bad decisions; and ultimately, responsibility is his. But to whichever salesperson sold the kid that bike, if you want what’s left you can have it cheap — but first you and I are going to have a very unpleasant talk that might wind up with you in intensive care as well.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Cracked mirrors are supposed to be seven year’s bad luck, and his missing right side mirror sent Kyle Busch to a last place finish. A second spinout late in the race just put icing on the cake, as did a practice crash that sent Busch to the rear of the field at the start.

Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart both saw decent finishes go out the window when they got caught speeding on pit road late in the event.

Carl Edwards clearly had a strong car, but had to pit again under caution with an equalized tire. He recovered to finish ninth, but never had a chance to gun for the win.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

A botched last second call on pit road forced Kasey Kahne back to the pits and dropped him to 38th place… but he still rallied back to win.

Jeff Burton had to overcome a pit road incident with David Ragan (and his own ill-considered if rare retaliation afterwards) along with a late race shoving match with Earnhardt to post a Top 5 finish.

Denny Hamlin knocked in his left front fender in the pits (see: Michael McDowell) and the required repairs dropped him well back into the pack; but he recovered well, coming back to finish third by race’s end.

Kurt Busch decided to damage his car the old fashioned way, out on the track instead of on pit lane. After the No. 2 car went bounding through the grass like a wounded gazelle, the front splitter was all but torn off; but his crew managed to McGyver a hasty fix that let Busch roar back to seventh.

Worth Noting

  • The Top 10 drivers at Pocono piloted a pair of Dodges, two Toyotas, two Fords, and four Chevys.
  • The top finishing ROTY candidate at Pocono was Michael McDowell in 27th.
  • Kasey Kahne has won two of the last four Cup points races, but finished outside the Top 20 in the other two.
  • Brian Vickers (second) scored his second Top 5 result of 2008 and his best career finish since he won the Fall race at Talladega in 2006.
  • Denny Hamlin (third) scored his first Top 5 finish since Talladega.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (fourth) has Top 5 finishes in three of the last four races, and Top 10 results in ten of this year’s fourteen Cup points events. And the crowd goes wild!
  • Jeff Burton (fifth) hasn’t finished worse than 12th since the Daytona 500.
  • Jimmie Johnson (sixth) had his best finish since he won at Phoenix.
  • Honest to God, Kurt Busch (eighth) had his first Top 10 finish since the Daytona 500.
  • Carl Edwards (ninth) managed his fifth consecutive Top 10 finish.
  • Bobby Labonte (11th) matched his best finish of the 2008 season. Labonte also finished 11th at Charlotte and Daytona.
  • Jeff Gordon’s 14th place finish snapped a string of four consecutive Top 10s, though a few of those were mulligans.
  • A.J. Allmendinger’s 12th place finish was the best of his emergent Cup career to date.
  • Tony Stewart (35th) has just two Top 10 finishes in the last seven Cup races; in his last three starts, he’s averaging a sobering 23rd place result.
  • Kyle Busch finished dead last for the first time in his career since Michigan in 2005.

What’s the Points?

Second place Jeff Burton took a huge bite out of points leader Kyle Busch’s advantage on Sunday, closing to within 21 points of the Irritator. Earnhardt Jr. remains third in the standings and is now a more reasonable 145 points behind Busch, who he doubtless hopes will keep trying to rack up Frequent Flyer miles. Carl Edwards remains fourth in the standings, but is a more distant 228 points out of the top spot.

Denny Hamlin had the best day in the points, advancing four spots from ninth to fifth. Behind him, winning races still proved to have some nice perks for a driver; Kahne advanced three spots, from twelfth to ninth in the standings. Jimmie Johnson also moved up a spot to sixth.

An unforced error dropped Clint Bowyer three spots to 11th in the standings. Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon each dropped two spots and are now seventh and eighth, respectively. And after his second straight poor finish, Tony Stewart fell a spot to 12th; more importantly, he’s now only seven points ahead of 13th place David Ragan and ten points ahead of 14th place Ryan Newman. Yes, typically Stewart gets stronger in the summer, but one has to wonder if the distractions about his future are dooming his chances at making the Chase this year — just as they did for Earnhardt last year.

Outside the Top 12, Matt Kenseth moved up a spot to 15th, bypassing Martin Truex, Jr. in the process.

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six pack an instant classic) — While it was more a chess match than a race, at least this week’s race wasn’t as bad as Dover last week. We’ll give it two cold bottles of the Sly Fox’s Helles Golden Lager microbrew.

Next Up: It’s off to Michigan on Father’s Day for what will probably be one boring mother of a race. If you prefer pit strategy to side by side racing on the track, it looks like this summer might be the time of your life.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Did You Notice? … Breaking Down A Sprint Cup Season Eight Races In
Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties
The Frontstretch Five: Flaws Exposed In the New Chase So Far
NASCAR Writer Power Rankings: Top 15 After Darlington
NASCAR Mailbox: Past Winners Aren’t Winning …. Yet
Open Wheel Wednesday: How Can IndyCar Stand Out?


©2000 - 2008 Matt McLaughlin and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

06/09/2008 07:36 AM

You covered some really great topics today, While I did not watch very much of the Pocono fiasco, a lap here, and a lap there, maybe Kyle Busch’s problem was he was just plain tired from all the traveling back and forth and the misjudgement was simple brain fade! Guess my way of thinking is that if your a CUP driver, your total allegiance is to the CUP series.

I think the bottom line is that the CUP series has become so routine and mundane, that a driver does not have to be “up” to race a CUP race, just strap in, and see where we finish, week, after week, after week!

Speaks volumes for NA$CAR!

I thought my TV had a misfeed when they tried showing the IRL race, boy was I confused listening to the race going on, but the screen was on the preliminaries to the race!


And what more can be said about the CoT??? What a disaster!

Just what kind of fan pays good money to watch this piece of trash go round and round a race track? Gee, did I say “race” track?

RACING” & the “CoT” in the same sentence just ain’t right!

And finally, I will head to MIS this weekend, err, I mean Friday for the ARCA race! Bout the only real racing going on there this weekend!

Oh, I remember saying that sometime last year I drove by MIS, noticed the stands were empty, so I pulled in, thought there was a SPRINT CUP race going on! (in reference to all the empty seats that now exist there on “race” day)!

06/09/2008 08:19 AM

Our prayers are with your family and your nephew Matt. Good recap of the race. Like Douglas, I watched a lap or two here and there and the last 20 or so laps. It looked like another parade with a dearth of people in the stands. Typical of NASCAR and the CoT. I also watched the IRL race, and as I have been saying for a few years now, the IRL and the truck series are where oval track racing is today on a national level. Heck, the F1 race in Canada was better than what I saw of Pocono.

06/09/2008 08:35 AM

the pocono race is over?? ok, bad joke. i managed to read a 300 page book in the duration of the pre-pre-race, pre race and broadcast of the race. if not for pit road who knows how this race would of been. cleaning my gutters in 100 degree heat was more interesting. i noticed the stands emptying near the of the race. guess the fans had enough of the heat and the parade. yeah, i was thinking about michigan race when it was 5 pm and pocono was still going, thinking about how that race will be.

hope shane improves.

06/09/2008 08:48 AM

As usual, Matt’s right on target. An odd and boring race, unusual strategies to keep the cars up front.

And, Larry Mac is much more tolerable in small doses. He has more time to consider what he wants to say before he gets on camera, instead of babbling whatever comes into his head to counter DW’s non-stop motormouth.

06/09/2008 08:55 AM

Hey Ed! I am not sure what day it was, I think during a Saturday practice for the CUP cars, but one of the announcers said that “the infield at Pocono was packed and it looked like a full house” for the weekend!

And then!!!! I watch a few laps on Sunday, it looked like the infield was literally EMPTY! A mere sprinkling of campers/motor-homes!

And the overhead shots of the cars on the main straight, just TONS OF EMPTY SEATS! Whole sections in fact!

What a mess NA$CAR is these days!

Gee’s, thanks Brian!

Carl D.
06/09/2008 09:17 AM

I also noted during the race that it was a bad day for the former open wheel drivers. While I don’t like to see anyone get in a wreck and don’t have anything against the open wheel drivers, I do hope some car owners took notice. I hate to see the limited rides available to up-and-coming STOCK CAR drivers go to open wheel drivers just because they’ve made a name for themselves in a different series.

Did anyone else miss Digger this weekend? I didn’t think so. Still, ESPN’s coverage was subpar at best. There were quite a few times when the technical people seemed to be completely out to lunch. And Kyle Petty, who I think is a natural for the booth, seemed to want to hear himself talk more than usual. Can ESPN get a producer, please?

I somehow missed the Bobby Allison pre-race story, but hey, I got to see that Allstate commercial where Kasey Kahne dances for the girls in their daydreams. Somehow, I just don’t picture Bobby Allison ever making a commercial like that.

06/09/2008 09:57 AM

I thought TNT broadcasted the Pocono race.

06/09/2008 10:02 AM

Why they have to go to this track twice, in 6 weeks at that, is beyond me. This race is soooooo boring! It is worse that the cookie cutters, at least there is usually some excitement at those tracks. The other issue is when will Nascar finally wake up that they need to do something with the car to make it competitive! You hear drivers say week after week that when they get next to another car the car is unstable. You also hear that when they start to catch a car in front of them, it seems like you hit a wall. Wasn’t this car supposed to fix all these areo issues?

I have been watching Nascar for many years, the last few years though I watch less and less and go to few races. I find I watch Formula 1 and Indy car now more than Nascar. Those series at least can provide excitement at somepoint during the weekend. Qualifiying for F1 has become one of my favorite racing events to watch, Indy cars are able to race each other. Nascar is just a parade with announcers that will defend Na$car officials decisions.

Oh and about the race coverage! TNT was horrible! How many times did they go to commercial, then come right back as it was obvious someone messed up!

Gary (Pentagon)
06/09/2008 10:13 AM


Prayers to your family and nephew. Hope he gets well quick. Been reading your column all year, it’s the only interesting view(s) on all of Jayski’s. Take care.

Gary (Pentagon)

06/09/2008 10:32 AM

I love that..“With this new mutt of a car, the driver up front with clean air on his nose has the advantage. It’s difficult for a driver with a fast car to cleanly pass a slower car ahead of him, and it’s ruining racing.”

…but it’s actually slightly less of a problem with the new car than it was with the twisted dishrag.

At Pocono, it has seemed like in recent history that a couple cars (the 11 and the 2, and now the 9) figure it out and just run roughshod over everyone else. They have no problem passing. I think some folks need to get some perspective. This race looked just like the races last year…and the year before…etc…at Pocono. Except the cars look better doing it.

Beyond that, I don’t entirely disagree with the article. I was at the Truck and IRL race. Both were very entertaining. I’m not really certain why it doesn’t seem like it is a priority to get the cup racing with as much side-by-side as the Trucks. I hope it is, and it’s just not outwardly visible.

06/09/2008 10:55 AM

Due to the large number of cautions (for Pocono at least) the race wasn’t as bad/boring as it could have been. Still, these cars just aren’t good for passing or making better. If you ask me the best racing at Pocono was taking place when everyone was running gears that allowed them to shift. Maybe NASCAR should relax the rules to allow that again.

Mike Cannon
06/09/2008 11:01 AM

TIVO hs announced that recent NASCAR races are causing a boom in sales, saving the viewer at least a couple hours per lousy race.

06/09/2008 11:25 AM

I was watching the race and when they started talking about red flags for rain I had no idea what they were talking about.

But then I figured it out. I fell a sleep and did not even notice till I looked at the clock.

I am so glad I did not drive to PA for a 4th time.

M.B. Voelker
06/09/2008 11:37 AM

You know, its not like the leader in clean air didn’t have an advantage in the aero-monstrosity either. Seems to me that people have been complaining about that for as long as I’ve been watching Nascar and I’m in my 10th year.

Until someone repeals the laws of physics race cars are going to react to clean air differently than they react to dirty air.

May God be with your nephew in his recovery.

06/09/2008 11:50 AM

We are finding we are seeing better racing in the Nationwide Series than the Cup. To bad it sounds as if Nascar is going to replace these cars with a CoT car also. That will ruin that series also. We have never really followed the truck series at all but my be forced to.

Carl D.
06/09/2008 12:30 PM

My mistake, it WAS TNT, not ESPN. My upmost apologies to ESPN. Hey, it’s Monday, my rear view mirror is missing, and my spotter never told me it was TNT.

06/09/2008 12:39 PM

i watched part of the Canadien GP this weeked and most of the time , at least after the race was 2-3 laps old ,there was hardly ever more than a couple of cars in sight. If you guys thinks thats excitement please watch F1 and keep all of your carping to an F1 websight. You guys blaming the COT for aero issues have a very short memory. The aero problems with the COY are 1 of the reasons the COT was developed. The COT is not perfect but the guys will figure those things out. Matt, your thinking out loud is for the most part so negative that you should find another sport to write about. You too seem to have a very selective memory as to the overall quality of Nascar racing in the past. I can recall many less than exciting races in the past,however, I think that’s true of every sport. Every type of game, race, or competition has great, competitive events and then some are a drag. Either find a way to enjoy or watch something else. Just spare the rest of us all this whining.

Mike In NH
06/09/2008 12:47 PM

Well, since people always go off on how Kyle Busch is arrogant and a jerk, but never point out when he does something good, I’ll point out the something good. He took full responsibility for hitting the 26 car on Sunday and apologized for it. He also mentioned the broken rearview mirror, and anyone paying attention noticed that his spotter didn’t tell him where the 26 car was until it was too late (love the sarcastic “Not clear maybe?!” comment he made right after the accident, too – pretty funny).

06/09/2008 01:37 PM

Did ya notice no mention of Mikey or his pathetic team until he slapped the wall! Thank God for the return of TBS!

MïK ("mike") Watson
06/09/2008 01:58 PM

Ya’ll ought sit down and reflect on the races of yesteryear, where Pocono was a l-o-n-g race and noone could pass and nothing really happened ‘til the end. And its only memory was the end of Bobby Allison’s career.

You folks also need to watch the race. It’s boring? You aren’t looking. There’s racing on the track, you have to find it. They can put on a race, but you, grasshopper, must watch for it.

06/09/2008 02:42 PM

God speed for your nephew in his recovery and strength to your family in their ordeal.

06/09/2008 02:47 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with your nephew.

And honestly, as I get ready to take a Motorcycle safety course at our local H-D shop in a few weeks, I’m getting nervous.

When I passed the written test for the permit, the guy behind the desk says, “Are you sure you want to do this?” What the hell am I supposed to say to that? “No.”

Umm, Sir…“Hell yeah, I’m sure.”

Then he says, “90 deaths in the state last season to bikers.” So I say, a little more quietly, “Yeah, I’m sure.” While thinking…“And just maybe you should be tellin’ that to all the idiots in cars out there…”

So here I am…Mom of 3, pushing 29 for like the 10th year, in the market for a bike (Sportster not Specialized).

I’lI be careful. But I do HATE to hear stories like the one about Matt’s nephew, Shane.

Get better soon, buddy!

P. S. Kyle Busch is a dork. I just can’t get past that fact when I watch him race cars. Dork first. Race car driver second.

06/09/2008 04:44 PM

Hey Susie! You will enjoy biking! There are probably ten (10) things you need to always remember when riding, but never let your mind wander while on the bike!

That car or SUV at the next intersection or stop sign, is after you!

ALWAYS consider the vehicles around you as dangerous to your health.

I take cross country trips on a regular basis, but am absolutely scared to death driving in the city with all the nut cases on their cell phones!

But riding is fun!

06/09/2008 04:53 PM

I too, am concerned for truck racing. Where will the former Cup drivers turn to once they get pushed out due to their turning over the hill at 35? Then again it may benefit the Nationwide Series to a degree or the Busch East/West Series. The latter would be a win situation for us local short track fans.

06/09/2008 05:48 PM

To those who think you can’t pass in the COT (especially at Pocono).

How did Carl Edwards get from 35th to 9th in the last 20 laps of green flag racing?

Did he teleport?

No, he PASSED 26 drivers!

06/09/2008 07:47 PM

I’ve got a novel idea to take care of the areodynamics, dirty air, etc. Let Ford design a car, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota, whoever wants to race, in production models, and the ones with the best aerodynamics have an advantage. If Chevy wants a faster car, it makes a more aerodynamic model. Thats the way it used to be and everything from a Hudson Hornet to an AMC Matador to a Torino Talladea to a Monte Carlo, was a threat to win every week. Now, its just, put a bow tie on that contraption, or an oval, or whatever, and its brand de-jour. But I guess thats just dreaming of a simpler, more competitive day.

Let the teams make some body changes and they could lose the aero—push and the wall of air. My hat is off to everybody in the field except Kyle Busch, who looked like an amateur yesterday, and Michael Waltrip, who runs as he always has, even with a gazillion dollars to build cars on.

06/09/2008 11:20 PM

Thanks for the tips, Douglas. I appreciate your input. When you’re a novice like me – you hear all these horror stories. So I appreciate your candid and positive take.

Back to Matt’s post: The COT…and this God awful passing problem. Um, it’s pretty easy to pass much slower traffic in a car race. It’s passing the guys running up front and as fast (if not faster) that counts. So big whip if you pass 20 slow pokes on your way to catch the leaders.

Everyone says a softer tire will help. I don’t buy it. Maybe that’ll mix up the pit stops a little (wear faster) but from a grip and aero standpoint, I don’t think softer tires are the answer to the COT ills.

Saftey aside, I thought the primary objective of the COT was to dispel the dreaded aero push??? To create better racing by reducing the aero dependencies of the car…enable more passing on the track. But it clearly hasn’t. More clearly 15 races into this thing, NASCAR messed up. Maybe that phased approach wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Go back to the drawing board, NASCAR, and try harder to get it right next time. That is, if you’re lucky and there is a “next time.”

06/10/2008 01:41 AM

Hey Matt,
You shouldn’t dog out other members of the media when you don’t know what the heck you are talking about yourself. Denny damaged his RIGHT front fender, not his left.

06/10/2008 07:13 AM

Hey Susie!! More bike hints!

WEAR BRIGHT CLOTHING! Although I have thousands of dollars in “biker black”, you know, the jackets, the helmets, the chaps, etc! They are NEVER worn except to toy runs and such.

On the highway, and in the city, I feel GREAT when I have my red jacket and red helmet on, very visible for people to see! And then that is not 100% either!

I call bikers that wear black for general riding “suicidal”!

GET BRIGHT! Give yourself a chance!

Mike In NH
06/10/2008 07:16 AM

It’s a comment on our society’s fixation with instant gratification that so many people think that right out of the box the new car should race just as well or better than the car that had been in use to for the last 15-20 years. And when it doesn’t they want to go whole hog and toss the whole thing and start over. It doesn’t work that way folks, no matter how they tested it, it was gonna take a couple of years to get this car working near as well as the car they had tons of data for. I do believe NASCAR needs to make SOME changes to the car, in the offseason – for one thing, bring the splitter up an inch or two like on the Truck (which races fine with a splitter that doesn’t drag on the ground). Get input from the crews on what would help them to get the car to race better and implement some of them (but not too many at once, because the more changes you make at once the harder it is to figure out what’s not working right when it doesn’t act as expected, as any engineer will tell you). But there isn’t anything here that can’t be fixed.

Oh, I don’t remember seeing a lot of passing at Pocono with the old car, either. I don’t think that issue is one caused by the new car. It’s always been a complaint with Pocono. But having watched the race, I didn’t see it as all that bad – though it could be shorter.

06/10/2008 11:23 AM

Hey Mike in NH!!

Introducing a bad car and then saying it will take years to fully develop is a slap-in- the-face to the race fan!

What makes you think that the average fan is going to pay good money to watch a “car developmental series”???

With all the money Brian and company have, the very least they could do is to give the teams a car that really works! Do the development in private, don’t do it in front of 100,000 paying fans!


And shame on you for buying NA$CAR propaganda!

06/10/2008 12:42 PM

Got it, Douglas!

I’m thinkin’ bright DeWalt yellow with a big ol’ black 17 slapped on my back.

06/10/2008 12:57 PM

The Shrubs post-incident interview came about an hour after he parked his car – much later than the norm. Just enough time to come up with a broken mirorr excuse perhaps? I, for one, didn’t believe him. He and his spotter screwed up. No excuses, please!

06/10/2008 02:24 PM

Mike in NH Kyle knew he had a broken mirror and should NOT have moved up until his spotter cleared him which he did not. Why would he when wasn’t clear? There is no way it is his spotters fault at all.
He HAD to take the blame there wasn’t an out on that one. The full blame lies on a guy who thinks he is superman and can race 3 races in 3 states in extreme heat. JGR should have put their foot down on that one. He was a danger to every driver out there. He had to be exhausted from all that flying and driving . The heat surely didn’t help either. He got the type of weekend he deserved to bad Jamie had to be involved. At least a good part of the race was safer w/o him in it.

06/10/2008 10:33 PM

Susie, that’s a great idea. At least you won’t be tempted to push it and run out front!

06/10/2008 10:48 PM

Double dip…Matt, many prayers. Agree on the sales people.
And Susie, I’m a Matt fan too. Just waiting for him to kick it like he can.

06/11/2008 08:44 AM

Yeah…and if there was a wreck in front of me, I’d quietly (yet skillfully) avoid it.

But if some new guy was yelling at me out his window to take 2…I’d quickly pull over and dial 1-800-ROBBIE-REISER.

(Sorry to hijack the thread, Matt.)