The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Indianapolis by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday July 27, 2009

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Indianapolis

Matt McLaughlin · Monday July 27, 2009


The Key Moment – Jimmie Johnson edged ahead of Mark Martin on the final restart to take the lead for good.

A valid argument could be made that the entire complexion of the race changed when Juan Pablo Montoya, who flat out dominated the race, was penalized for speeding on pit road during the last round of pit stops.

In a Nutshell – OK, I’ve seen worse races. I don’t remember enjoying them much either.

Dramatic Moment – During the final ten laps, Mark Martin’s determined attempt to run down Johnson woke fans from the siesta Montoya had lulled them into.

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

Before the usual tidal wave of cynical observations, limited insights, and strained attempts at humor, I need to send out sincere get well wishes to TMS’s General Manager Eddie Gossage, who is currently battling cancer. Gossage has decided not to speak publicly about his disease or his prognosis… and that is his right. But though we’ve crossed swords a few times, once with threats of legal action against me heavy in the air, Gossage is one of the good guys in this sport willing to at least listen to dissenting opinion — and he’s always a champion of the fans who patronized his beloved Texas Motor Speedway. While respecting his right to privacy, I’ll still be praying for a quick and successful recovery from this dreaded disease for Mr. Gossage. As soon as you’re up to it, Eddie, let me know and we’ll celebrate with a beer on your front porch. I’ll buy and bring it in my cooler.

Did you think the fallout from last year’s Goodyear-fueled debacle at the Brickyard was over? It was hard not to notice all of those empty seats at Sunday’s race. Given the enormity of Indy, there was still a massive crowd on hand, but it’s notable that a whole lot of folks that attended last year simply voted not to come back.

Was Montoya actually speeding, or was he penalized for stinking up the show? He seemed pretty adamant swearing on his wife and his children’s life he hadn’t been speeding.

Maybe when NASCAR visits Indy, they should put a “No Passing Zone” sign on the Gasoline Alley entrance.

What’s wrong with the new cars? Even with the way Montoya dominated the race, once he got back in traffic he couldn’t make any headway. Wasn’t this new car supposed to solve the “dreaded aero push” problem?

My first week with the NASCAR Internet Citizens Journalists Corps has been remarkably uneventful. No packages arrived on the front porch suspicious enough to warrant calling the bomb squad. There were no uniform patches, no secret handshakes, and dammit, no secret decoder rings or Daisy Red Rider BB guns with compasses in the stock. (Just as well … I’d probably put my eye out with that thing.) I did have dinner with my boss, though, in the booming metropolis of Eagle, PA at the eponymous tavern just down the street from Smaltz’s Harley Davidson. Over our meal, we discussed the origins of the term “Silly Season.” Mike Joy coined the term in racing first in the open-wheel series and later in NASCAR. It has been defined as the long stretch of the summer season where there’s little real news to talk about other than rumors of which drivers might be leaving which teams and where they might end up. Of course, Jayski has made the term “Silly Season” a household word. But the term has its roots in English politics. During the summer, with the Parliament on holiday for the most part there was little hard news for the papers to cover… so reporters were forced to produce and comment on rumors entirely of their own making on a variety of topics that seemed “silly” compared to real hard news reporting. All they could hope for was some member of the royal family would enter an ill-advised dalliance that would get the readers all up in a lather. So, if any NASCAR driver out there is engaged in an ill-advised dalliance please write me. I need something to write about Thursday. But fear not, campers, having nothing to say rarely keeps me from saying it. Miss Hathaway, call the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce: it’s time for me to book my summer vacation.

Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race at IRP was arguably the best race of the season and featured yet another dramatic side-by-side battle between series points leaders Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. Edwards prevailed this time, and in an odd twist of events, Busch stuck around to comment to the press after the race. Busch this week vowed to be more mature and positive in his post-race comments, realizing he’s become a PR nightmare for his sponsors and the sport. He came so close… dammit you were almost pulling for the guy to handle defeat graciously like a man, and he made it right up until the last two sentences. That’s when he added that sometimes you win a race in the pits and sometimes you lose because of on-track contact, Busch noted, adopting that beady-eyed extended front teeth look of a rat with its tail caught in a trap by implicating Edwards for somehow doing him wrong. Meanwhile, Edwards once again nailed it, noting what a great driver Busch is and what fun it is to race him side-by-side for a win. Busch ought to walking on sunshine with the NW title now firmly in his grasp absent a nuclear meltdown this late in the season, but his default emotion seems to be childish petulance. There’s a lot of folks who have won championships … but there’s a decidedly smaller subset of those so blessed who learned to act like a champion.

You know fans wait for their favorite drivers to speak because of the inestimable bits of wisdom they impart on us mere mortals. After battling a stomachache this weekend, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., his very own popular self, imparted this insightful bit of wisdom: “I’m not a very big fan of stomach viruses now.” You know, I was kind of on the fence when it came to viruses that cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and general malaise but thanks to Dale’s insight, I’ve now decided I don’t like them either. On the other hand, most Junior fans have been feeling sick to the stomach watching their boy race most weekends this season.

Carl Edwards similarly offered his fans insight into his 44th-fastest speed posted in qualifying. “That’s bad,” he noted with Zen-like wisdom.

Most fans and even most of the media were somewhat startled when RCR stalwart Kevin Harvick began publicly expressing his strong desire to leave the Childress organization at the end of the year. After all, Harvick had made such noises before a few years back threatening to leave RCR for the Toyota camp in an attempt to strongarm better contract terms. But this time, it seems that Harvick is seriously attempting a move to become the third driver in the Stewart-Haas stable, which is a satellite operation of the Hendrick Racing dynasty. Childress has said he has no intentions of letting Harvick or Shell/Pennzoil out of the last years of their contracts (2010) but it was barely a year ago that that Joe Gibbs was saying he had no intention of letting Tony Stewart break his contract and leave that team, either. When a driver wants out, he or she can make such a pest of themselves they become a corrosive acid to an organization and in the end, it’s best to just let them go. There is one key difference here to remember, though. The Home Depot stuck with Gibbs Racing despite the defection of their longtime spokesmodel Stewart, while the Shell contract stipulates that the company’s contract with Childress is based on Harvick driving the car they sponsor. Keep your hands inside the car, campers, this is likely to be a dark ride that’s more weekday afternoon soap opera than Sunday afternoon racing.

Another surprise this week was the announcement that DeWalt Tools will be leaving driver Matt Kenseth and Jack Roush Racing after a long and successful association that saw the threesome celebrate the 2003 championship. Since 1999, when Kenseth ran a part-time Cup schedule, he’s been in the yellow DeWalt car most every weekend with the exception of some limited runs for associate sponsors. The paring is one of the longest in the sport this side of Jeff Gordon and DuPont. In this economy, the search for a sponsor to replace DeWalt even for a driver of Kenseth’s caliber and given the marketing expertise of Roush Racing is going to be a challenge.

Speaking of Roush, it seems we have a loser in the game of musical chairs to decide which of the five Roush drivers will be out a seat (and headed to satellite operation Yates Racing most likely) next year. It would seem that David Ragan, as the new kid on the block, would be the odd man out; but Ragan’s sponsor UPS, who bring a lot of money to the table with them, said the terms of their agreement with Roush are that Ragan is their driver and he campaigns under Roush Racing colors. Jamie McMurray now seems like he’s going to be outside looking in. If I were Elliott Sadler, I’d be polishing my resume and trying real hard to win a couple races soon. If I recall, the Mars/M and Ms folks were particularly fond of Sadler, and Kyle Busch’s immature acts this season might be bitter fruit for the sweet’s manufacturer to swallow. It’d be my guess that Mars’ association with Busch has been a marketing bonanza for candy store rival Reese’s Pieces. Being able to lure Mars back over to Yates Racing might secure Sadler a ride next year.

Kenseth has celebrated many big moments in the yellow and black of DeWalt, but come next season we will see him in new colors.

It’s a scientific breakthrough! At long last, someone has developed a cure for the fungal growth on the underside of Jimmie Johnson’s face that his PR people tried to call a beard.

Kelly Ripa? To use terms familiar to my texting nieces and nephews: OMG!!! YGTBFK me!

Talk about an assist! An ESPN reporter managed to work in a sponsor plug and manufacturer mention for Brian Vickers, who forgot to do so in his post-race interview.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

Juan Pablo Montoya’s dream afternoon ended with that nightmarish speeding penalty on pit road.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was having his best run in recent memory when his engine expired in dramatic fashion late in the race.

It’s kind of hard for a fellow like Elliott Sadler to win a race when his car suffers a mechanical issue on the first of 160 laps.

Kyle Busch really struggles on the big, flat tracks. He blew a tire and hit the wall hard, leading to yet another lousy finish. The wreck dropped Busch out of the top 12 in points.

Denny Hamlin had a strong run going before drivetrain issues sent him to the garage.

Reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton won his first race of 2009 at Hungary in a season that’s featured a hapless title defense. Unfortunately, during qualifying for the same event, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa suffered potentially life-threatening injuries when a spring from another car hit him in the helmet and passed through his visor. Massa underwent successful surgery for a cranial fracture, and is currently in a medically-induced coma listed in stable condition. Prayers go out to Massa, his family, his team, and his fans.

This running stock cars at Indy, a track totally unsuitable for them, really isn’t working out, is it? What’s next? Racing bulldozers at the Nurbergring?

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Brian Vickers was almost penalized for taking pit equipment out of his pit stall, but the gas can fell off quickly enough. He also had to overcome an equalizing tire in the final laps of the race to hold on for a fifth place finish.

Ron Hornaday won his fourth consecutive Truck Series race on Friday. That’s not bad for an old guy who was a grade ahead of Mark Martin in elementary school.

Kevin Harvick really needed a decent run and he got one with a sixth place finish.

Greg Biffle nearly ran out of gas on the final lap but was able to coast to the checkers.

Bill Elliott qualified fourth driving for the part-time Wood Brothers team. The 53-year-old driver ran in the top 10 early in the race and in the top 15 for most of it before fading late.

Worth Noting

  • The top 10 finishers at Indy drove five Chevys, two Fords, two Toyotas, and a lone Dodge.
  • Joey Logano’s twelfth place finish was the best by a rookie.
  • De facto Hendrick teammates Johnson, Gordon, Martin, Stewart, and Newman have won eleven of this season’s 20 points-paying Cup races, with Johnson and Martin alone combining to win seven of those events.
  • Johnson has missed the top 10 just once in the last eight races.
  • Tony Stewart (third) hasn’t missed a top 10 result in the last seven races. Seven of those results were within the top 5.
  • Greg Biffle’s fourth place finish was his best since Dover.
  • Brian Vickers’ fifth-place finish matches his best result of 2009. It also represents his third straight top 10 finish.
  • Kevin Harvick’s sixth place finish was his best Cup result since Atlanta late last winter.
  • Kasey Kahne (seventh) has top 10 results in four of the last five races.
  • Jeff Gordon (ninth) has top 10 finishes in six of the last seven Cup races.
  • Reed Sorenson’s thirteenth place finish was his best since Phoenix.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (36th) endured his third DNF of the year. He hasn’t posted a top 10 result since Talladega.
  • Kyle Busch’s 38th place finish was his worst of the season. He’s finished inside the top 10 just once in the last eight Cup races. Meanwhile, he’s finished either first or second in the last eight Nationwide races. Remember what I said about Busch concentrating on his day job? If Busch and the No. 18 team miss the chase, Kyle and Joe Gibbs will have some splainin’ to do to Mars, Lucy.

What’s the Points?

Tony Stewart holds onto the points lead yet again. He’s now 192 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who supplanted Jeff Gordon to take over second in the standings.

Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin once again swapped fifth and sixth spots in the standings, with Edwards now having the advantage.

Mark Martin’s strong run moved him up two spots to ninth in the standings.

Greg Biffle’s fourth place finished moved him up two spots into eleventh in the standings and back into Chase contention if the season were to end right now. And after the last two races, I almost wish it would.

Kyle Busch fell four spots to 14th in the standings. Maybe he ought to start concentrating on his day job?

David Reutimann moved up a spot to 13th. He’s 68 points out of twelfth.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fell yet another spot to 21st in the standings. In the infamous words of Bill Murray’s Tripper Harrison in Meatballs, “It just doesn’t matter.”

Overall Rating (On a scale of one to six beer cans, with one being a stinker and a six-pack an instant classic) – We’ll give this one three cans of bovine beer. It was pretty much what was expected absent last year’s tire fiasco.

Next Up – Pocono. Again? Weren’t we just there? In fact, I doubt the last of the June post-race traffic has made to I-81 yet.

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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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
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…


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Bad Wolf
07/27/2009 01:43 AM

Looks to me like the fans are voting with their feet after last years tire debacle, the COT and all the insane changes instituted by the powers that be.

I gave up my Indy seats a couple of years back, after being there for every race from 1994 on, and they were great seats (I could see the cars come out of turn 4, down the frontstretch and into turn 1, pretty good for this track) right next to the Winners Circle in the Tower Terrace. We got to see all the pre race hoopla, and I used to get fantastic pictures of the victory celebration. The racing was never really great at Indy but I remember a lot more passing and actual battles for the lead before the COT.

If I went back now I would park the camper in the Coke lot, party all week and watch the race from the campground on the dish. No need to waste my cash sitting in the stands for what I saw today.

Thanks Brian Z. France and Nascar. You saved me $1500 this weekend by creating boring racing and giving me the incentive to stay home.

07/27/2009 05:25 AM

Why bother watching a race when you know whose going to win. Montoya got screwed, plain and simple. With a 4 second lead, fo you think he’s going to speed on pit row. After that I knew was going to win so I switched back to baseball. When I watched sports highlights later I was right on as to who won. Surprise! Surprise!.. Hendricks and Hendricks-Stewart dominated the top ten again. After this fix I’m to the point where I’ve lost Most of my once fanatical interest in nas$car. Judging by all the empty seats at damn near every reace I know I’m not alone.

07/27/2009 06:38 AM

i side with montoya. no way, as bad as he wants to win on oval, and especially indy, that he was speeding i think na$car didn’t want him to win and to show him he was “stinking up the show”. would have been a good v/l celebration, instead, we got vanilla, vanilla, vanilla…..just give a hendrick team the trophy and close the door on the season.

Bill B
07/27/2009 07:43 AM

People keep asking “should NASCAR be racing in Indianapolis?”. After watching all three races this week the answer is “Yes, at O’Reilly Race Park.”.
I know that the ability to pass at the Brickyard has always been limited and difficult, but these COT’s make it impossible. How can a car out front be “dominant” but when back in traffic can’t pass at all? From what I have seen the last couple of seasons THAT should be NASCAR’s number one concern.

07/27/2009 07:51 AM

What an unbelievable robbery in broad daylight! Was it a boring race? Answer: this one could be used as the definition of boring! But to see how NA$CAR decided to “spice it up a bit” was just plain LOW. Neither my wife nor I are Montoya fans, but dadgummit, that man was ROBBED! I guess it was too hard to justify a “Miss Terri Debris” caution; and besides, even if they bunched up the field, Montoya was strong enough to get ahead on any NA$CAR-generated restart. So they had to “take him out”. Juan Pablo is no dummy: he knew he had the strongest car; he knew they couldn’t catch him; and there is no doubt he knew that he needed to NOT MAKE ANY MISTAKES. I do not doubt him when he says he was being extra careful on pit road. Bad NA$CAR! BAD BAD BAD! Downright disgusting!

07/27/2009 07:54 AM

I also side with Montoya! And I notice that John “Dingbat” Darby has come out with Montoya’s speeds on pit road. Oh ya? And who else actually saw these numbers Darby quoted? NASCAR screwed Montoya bigtime! And I will say that they did it, not because he was stinking out the show, but rather they knew there were three Hendrick cars right behind him, and after all, Brainless Brian and The Felon are the best of friends. Rick has probably donated more money to France’s pockets than anyone. So it makes perfect sense that a Hendrick car had to win. And you can bet that everything will be done to make sure that Jimmie, NASCAR’s precious disgraced Champion, will be the Champion this year!

I am not a Montoya fan, never was, even in his I.R.L. days. But what happened yesterday has now officially turned me off NASCAR. And I have to thank that idiot France! He has now saved me lots of money, money I won’t be spending at Michigan in a couple of weeks, a trip I have cancelled. And no more tee shirts, hats and diecasts! Screw you France! I hope you and The Felon have a happy life together! Your catering to him has destroyed the sport and cost you this fan who has followed NASCAR since Fred Lorenzen and Fireball Roberts rubbed fenders together!

07/27/2009 07:58 AM

Hey, Kid Lightning, It ought to be obvious to anyone after this weekend that the racing should be done at IRP, yeah I still call it that, rather than the brickyard. Boring.

07/27/2009 08:07 AM

i missed the post-race stuff. did they reference “winner of indy” = champion for season?

i loved the racing at irp. truck race was awesome. that’s what na$car needs to get us fans back. just think, next season nationwide will be cot…

matt, i’m surprised you didn’t mention the accident during qualifying for the f1 race. hopefully massa makes a complete recovery. very frightening and the pics of him when they lifted him from car, horrible.

07/27/2009 08:13 AM

At least there were some pretty funny moments during the Brickyard 400 . Jimmie Johnson almost bursting into tears on the radio because Brian Vickers wouldn’t pull over and let him pass . And we now know that in spite of the constant drumbeat of the press , Hendrick does not build the best cars and engines . Montoya had the field covered , including on the long straightaways , and his car was from DEI/Gannasi with a Childress engine . The pit road speeding incident was unfortunate , he deserved to win .
The empty seats at the Brickyard were certainly noticeable , although the seats extend all the way down around turn four and are on both sides of the front straight , so even with some empty seats , The Brickyard still pulls in a giant crowd .
O’reilly has always been one of the most competitive race tracks in the country . The Nationwide race was great , so were the trucks . But SPEED needs to drop the idiotic Junked , Juked , Squashed , Bored , and the rest of the so-called reality shows, and resume broadcasting the open wheel races , especially the O’Reilly races .

07/27/2009 08:18 AM

Should we put the same trust in Nascars’ pit road speed numbers for Montoya as we do for Nascars’drug test results for Mayfield ? Yes , i think we should .

07/27/2009 08:22 AM


i just choked on my cereal…..EXCELLENT POINT!

Mr Bill
07/27/2009 08:40 AM

I’m not sure if I still miss Dale Earnhardt or what, but NASCAR racing is less meaning now than in the past. Indy is just another boring race with the car out front looking good as long has it is getting the needed air on the nose. Jerry Punch is a good guy, but he needs to come out of the booth for ESPN. Bad race with a bad play by play man. I will not watch the race next week.

07/27/2009 08:42 AM

I switched over occasionally, but when I saw Johnson had taken the lead and Montoya had been canned, I never looked back. I don’t know why anyone would go to a race at Indy, F1, Indycar, or NASCAR. You can’t see anything.

07/27/2009 09:03 AM

I’m not a big fan of pre-race shows , but i did see one segment this weekend that i thought was not only very well done , but a perfect metaphor for the current state of NASCAR . The segment was of Tony Stewart and AJ Foyt in conversation . It was interesting to see the virtual black and white difference between two men who live and breath racing vs. the following segment of Jeff Gordon at a trendy New York eatery being interviewed by a vapid talk show host . Talk about your two different worlds .
I’ll take the racing passion of Tony and AJ over the “ get me out of this filthy race track as soon as the race is over so i can get back to my New York apartment “ Jeff Gordon .

07/27/2009 09:14 AM

“Tony Stewart (third) hasn’t missed a top 10 result in the last seven races. Seven of those results were within the top 5.”

Ummm…then shouldn’t you have said that Smoke hasn’t miss a TOP 5 in the last seven races? or am I missing something?

07/27/2009 09:30 AM

Interesting point about Kyle in the NW series. I ran some numbers last night. Of the top 12 in points, 8 have run at least 1 NW race, 4 have run more than 2 (3 ran only 1). Of the top 4 in points, only Tony Stewart has run a NW race this year (2). Of the drivers 13-17 in points, they have all run at least 6 NW races. The average # of NW starts for drivers in the top 12 (excluding Edwards) is 2.27; average # of starts for positions 13-17 (excluding Busch) is 7.5. The notable drivers not in the top 20 in Cup points that were expected to compete at least for the chase are: Earnhardt, Jr. (6 starts), Harvick (12 starts), Ragan (12 starts).

So, is the NW series a distraction? I say probably. Does it really help you on Sunday? Most likely not, except maybe in the case of Logano, who needs the seat time. Besides, if you are a cup driver using the NW series to get seat time and experience, maybe you are not ready to be a Sprint Cup driver.

07/27/2009 10:00 AM

“Hendrick teammates Johnson, Gordon, Martin, Stewart and Newman have won eleven of this season’s 20 points paying Cup races with Johnson and Martin alone combining to win seven of those events. “

So will nascar put the Hendrick cars on the dyno like they did to Toyota for “stinking up the show?”

Managing Editor
07/27/2009 10:46 AM

Hey guys,

Just a note on the speeding penalty for Montoya, something I’ll be putting in my own column this week. I know everyone likes a good conspiracy theory, but while it sounds ridiculous the man WAS speeding. An inside source clued me in to new pit road times given to ESPN that allow you to accurately measure the data on pit road. That source showed me Montoya’s time in and out of the pits was over half-a-second faster than any of the other readings seen all day. Sounds hard to believe, but maybe the nerves were getting to him or something … this was not conspiracy but reality. Trust me on this one …

07/27/2009 11:01 AM

Well, Tom, given that fact wouldn;t it have behooved ESPN in sharing that data with the fans live, given the fact that single incident altered the entire complexion of the race? I mean maybe they could have had Kelly Ripa explain it.

07/27/2009 12:26 PM

I will let the tens of thousands of EMPTY seats do my talking today!

A sad sport at that!

07/27/2009 12:37 PM

The streak continues…still only two of the 16 BY races that I have stayed awake throughout the flag to flag “action”. Eh, whatever, jimmy cracked corn….

Dans Mom
07/27/2009 12:48 PM

I love it when Jimmie wins! NASCAR is the greatest sport ever!!!! Can’t wait for the chase when the 48 Lowes team turns it on and wins 8 of the 10 chase races. Afterall, the other two real hendrick teams have to win atleast one.

Also can’t wait for the chase to begin for Hendrick to supply Stewart with the secondary equipment. Its a good thing they’ve had Dale Jr testing that garbage all year so they know exactly what to provide “smoke” with.

Nascar give us something to cheer for and talk about every week!!!!

07/27/2009 01:14 PM

Does anybody know what happened to Bill Elliott to suddenly put him a lap down near the end?

Of course ESPN couldn’t be bothered to comment..

07/27/2009 01:14 PM

How many times has this appeared in the “Thinkin’ Out Loud” series?

“Dramatic Moment – During the final ten laps”

07/27/2009 02:24 PM

Dans Mom has a point there . Why wouldn’t Hendrick give Stewart the second rate parts . Fortunatly though , Stewart is twice the driver that Johnson is , so Tony will still win the championship , he’ll just do it with inferior equipment .

07/27/2009 02:41 PM

Well, well! The Managing Editor is certainly sucking up to the NASCAR line now that they are part of the Citizen Jounalists! I never saw that graphic! And besides, given that this is supposed to be electronic equipment, where are the calibration certificates, and where is the certification of qualification of the operators? Right! In NASCAR’s files! How disappointing that you are now towing the NASCAR line! Montoya was robbed for the sake of France caving to giving The Felon yet another undeserved win! I said it before and I say it now, that race was rigged! If I were Chip, I’d punch France, Helton, and Dingbat Darby right in their ugly pusses!

And Dan’s Mom, I hope Johnson falls flat on his face! Him and his sleeze-bag crewchief! Same goes for Hendrick’s other team with Smoke-head driving! But let’s face it, Rick hendrick has paid Brian France off to ensure that this Championship has already been decided, and Jimmie will get his fourth Championship! And I hope he chokes on the trophy, and France chokes on the bribe money Hendrick pays him!

07/27/2009 03:13 PM

I agree with Ed. With all the things in the infield you can only see the cars coming out of turn 4 and then into turn 1.Worst view of any track we have been to and we only have a handful of tracks we haven’t visited. We wouldn’t go to Indy if we had free tickets. We could have done better things with the 280.00 we had spent on tickets the year we went. Now with the COT the racing is even much worse. My husband just said Sunday how much he misses real racing. He said he used to get excited to sit down and watch a race now he thinks we should go fishing instead he is losing interest.

07/27/2009 03:39 PM


when i saw the me comment here, first thing i wondered was calibration of the equipment. that all should be done by an outside organization. i just think it’s typical response. tow the line. considering na$car did pit road speeding violations by visual methods vs. state-of-art methods doesn’t let me think that they’re all that sophisticated, well until they want to make a case.

07/27/2009 03:54 PM

Folks, that expression is TOE the line. Not tow the line. Where are they going to tow that line? Can’t stand poor spelling.

Kevin in SoCal
07/27/2009 04:02 PM

Why would NASCAR want to screw Juan Pablo? Wouldnt it help their “drive for diversity” campaign and help their international fan base if he won again? Instead, with Jimmie Johnson winning, all they get are a bunch of folks complaining about black helicopters again. Why does it have to be NASCAR’s equipment that needs certifying? Perhaps Juan Pablo’s tachometer was wrong?
And dont accuse me of drinking the kool-aid, I’m simply providing a different way of looking at it.

07/27/2009 04:08 PM

WOOOOHOOO!! Go team Hendrick!!! NA$CAR knows never to mess with anything team Hendrick! They OWN every one!! All the team owners, the team members and other drivers know they must bow down to team Hendrick or else! They all do exactly what Rick orders them all to say and do! Noone on any other team, or in NA$CAR will ever say a word about who owns them. They do only what Rick orders them to do! And that will never change!

07/27/2009 04:08 PM

Matt, Elliott did not fade, he made cup history, I think. They said he had a lugnut tightened up between the wheel and the rotor. I’ve never heard of that before. He circled the track and came back in. He also ran out of gas that stop and coasted in from turn 4. Of course if you don’t get raceview, you will never hear anything about him during the race. The team radios are cool to listen to and no, I do not now nor will I ever work for the France Mafia.

Also, on the last restart Kurt Busch was supposed to line up behind Bill but instead lined up 4 spots in front of Bill and in front of cars on the lead lap. nascar told him to fall back and he basically ignored them. No black flag – the power of Penske?? If nascar can’t even line up the cars right how can we believe pit row speeds. Speaking of which, if the power to the car transponder or the loops were increased for just a split second creating a larger field of energy, would that cause the loops to “see” the car sooner thus a speeding penalty?? just wondering

07/27/2009 04:20 PM

Janice, MATT did mention Massa’s crash, even though it’s not an F1 column.

Unlike what MATT said, Newman hasn’t won yet, so Hendrick + Stewart-Haas has only won 10 times, not 11. However, you can still count it as 11 if you count James Finch’s win with Brad Keselowski, which was basically just as much a Hendrick car as the Hendrick/Stewart-Haas cars proper.

Carl D.
07/27/2009 06:08 PM

I’m spending the week in NYC and spent yesterday at the Al Hirschfeld Theater watching the revival of the hippie musical “Hair”. I had a great time. My condolences to those of you who were left to watch the Brickyard 400. From what I understand, it was a bummer, man.

The Old Guy
07/27/2009 11:21 PM

I think the biggest point being missed here…..

Could NASCAR allow JPM, driving an EGR (That’s Teresa by the way), to win one of the three biggest races of the year? Not as long as their poster child can’t win in, arguably, the best equipment available in NASCAR.

Do you think an EGR win might lay waste to the claim that it was the equipment at DEI and not the driver?

As long as Jr. races for HMS, nothing associated with his former team will be allowed to visit victory lane.

anyone remember how Regan Smith got screwed last year driving a DEI car?

07/28/2009 01:15 AM

What a bunch of whiners!

Montoya got caught & paid the price. I don’t like the guy or his owner Ganassi, but he blew everyone away, including himself. If he wants to cry about who killed his chances, let him look in the mirror (note: I don’t particularly care for JJ either).

JPM isn’t the only guy penalized for pit road speeding this year; it happens all the time.

Actually, NASCAR probably knew that a win by JPM (why does he have to go by three names, by the way—it isn’t as if he’ll be confused for someone else) would be good for its image, but rules are rules.

Speed ‘em and weep, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Kevin in SoCal
07/28/2009 12:24 PM

Jaymatt, Juan Montoya is JPM’s father, so yes there is confusion. JPM has always been known as Juan Pablo Montoya so that is what NASCAR calls him, too.

07/28/2009 12:57 PM

Kevin, he was simply called Juan Montoya when he was in CART and IRL. He didn’t adopt the third name until he was in F1.

07/28/2009 01:52 PM

Matt — a comment from Eric from the old Awesome Bill From Dawsonville forum(ABFD) –

I have to disagree with your comment about the Busch race being the best race this weekend. Did you happen to catch the truck race at IRP? (it is neither Nationwide nor ORP to me) I rarely catch a BGN or CTS event but could not pull myself away from the couch after that 4 truck fight for the lead from 50 laps to go until the end, it was quite possibly the best racing i’ve seen since ESPN used to air Saturday Night Thunder…