The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: All-Star Race Edition by Matt McLaughlin -- Monday May 24, 2010

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: All-Star Race Edition

Matt McLaughlin · Monday May 24, 2010


The Key Moment: When Kyle Busch and teammate Denny Hamlin got to arguing over the lead and the No. 18 car hit the wall, Kurt Busch took advantage of the situation and shot from fifth to the lead in one lap.

In a Nutshell: A perfect example of this year’s Cup racing to date… ninety percent tedium followed by ten percent terrific.

Dramatic Moment: When they dropped the green flag with ten laps to go, you had to figure there were going to be fireworks and there were.

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

What the hell is Kyle Busch so angry about? He was in second, had a good run and was trying to pass Hamlin, who obviously moved up to block the move in a non-points paying event that pays pretty well to win. Busch got up into the wall, but there was no apparent contact between the two cars. This is stock car racing, not lawn tennis. Maybe the Shrub is just ticked off because the fans celebrated his misfortune so lustily and loudly. As ye reap, so shall you sow. If anyone had a right to be angry after the race, it was Kasey Kahne. Busch knew he had a tire rub but remained on track. When that right front tire finally blew, Busch sent Kahne hard into the wall, ending a thoroughly disappointing run for the No. 9 team (and ironically, almost costing Kyle’s older brother Kurt a win.)

That being said, Hamlin’s No. 11 car was like the Bermuda Triangle Saturday night. Anyone venturing too close tended to disappear.

Busch should consider himself fortunate he wasn’t black-flagged for passing the leader coming to the line on the first restart of the final segment. The mayhem that developed behind him might have had NASCAR officials swallow their whistles.

I’m wondering if any fans in the stands were injured when the right-side window of Kahne’s car flew into the (fortunately sparsely populated) grandstands during his wreck with Kyle Busch. In this case, I guess no news is good news.

Although he bounced off the wall twice during the night, it was Kurt Busch taking home the big prize in the All-Star race.

Here’s the thing about race fans. Everybody has their favorite driver. When one other driver starts beating them too often, they tend to dislike the fellow who is “hogging” the victories. It happened with Dale Earnhardt the Original. It happened with Jeff Gordon. And it was pretty hard not to hear that a lot of folks in the grandstands seemed pretty pleased Jimmie Johnson suffered misfortune after stinking up much of the show. In fact, the cheering after the incident seemed to approach the ABG (Anybody But Gordon) hysteria of the late ’90s. There’s one thing about the three drivers I’ve heard booed most loudly during my long-term tenure with the sport; Earnhardt, Gordon and Johnson were all winning bunches of races and titles when it happened. Like Earnhardt once famously said, “If they ain’t cheering, they damn well better be booing.”

It’s got to be a dark, scary time for those running the Ford NASCAR racing program. Two of their highest-profile sponsors this year, UPS and Bud, are said to be in talks with Richard Childress Racing to sponsor Kevin Harvick now that the points leader has re-signed with the team. You know, winning a race occasionally might help Ford retain ancillary sponsors.

Speaking of Ford, those FR9 engines looked strong in the preliminary event. Of course, it’s been so long since a Ford won a Cup race that event was heavily laden with their best teams trying to make the big show.

The first All-Star race back in 1985 was 70 laps long, and concluded in just over forty minutes. We need this bloated freak show the All-Star race has become to get back to its roots. 110,000 showed up to watch that first Winston. Draw your own conclusions.

Yeah, I’m a cynic, but I did tear up a little listening to young Taylor Gibbs’ invocation prior to the race.

Sab-a-toogie? Team members claim that they found lug nuts on three wheels of Kyle Busch’s Truck Series vehicle loosened prior to the rain-delayed race Friday night. Those wheels were said to have been carefully checked prior to that occurrence. While Busch’s truck was fixed, Austin Dillon, whose truck was parked beside Busch’s, blamed his wreck in the event on a loose wheel though Dillon’s truck had also been checked over. In the NASCAR garage, with all the cameras and phones that double as cameras, it’s tough to believe anyone could get away with anything so underhanded or a poorly thought out prank, but if it occurred someone needs to accept blame. The lives of drivers and fans alike are at stake. Longtime fans might recall an incident at Talladega in the ’70s, when many teams arrived at the track Sunday morning to find that brake and fuel lines on their cars had been cut and foreign substances had been put in the fuel tanks. Nobody ever did figure out who was responsible for that vandalism.

Back when this whole “single race” paint scheme started with Earnhardt’s silver car and Elliott’s “Thunderbat,” it was pretty cool. But nowadays, there are just so many single-race schemes, particularly in an event like the All-Star Race, the switches to the warpaint just tend to confuse fans who can’t pick out their favorite drivers. That having been said, I thought the all orange 20 car looked a lot better than the week-to-week paint scheme.

I like surprises. I enjoy spontaneity. I like plans that change at a moment’s notice. Some Mondays, I’ll be thinking “tonight, I write my midweek column” but Kenny shows up on his motorcycle to go riding, or the usual suspects in the neighborhood show up with a six pack and pull up a lawn chair to settle in for the long haul. But sometimes in life, it’s important to have anchors to keep an even keel. For instance, I know what I’m going to be doing every Monday night at precisely 9 PM… not watching Fast Track to Fame on SPEED.

I’m not sure about the wisdom of starting the rain-delayed Truck race after 10:30 PM Eastern time. The event concluded about 1 AM Saturday morning, making for a real long day for fans in the stands and at home. With so little on-track action scheduled for Saturday and a stellar forecast, why not postpone the race? I doubt the sponsors are going to be very happy with the ratings or the amount of eyeballs watching their rolling billboards after the witching hour Saturday night. Cup races have been shortened due to rain delays because neither the track officials, law enforcement, or NASCAR wanted them running that late at night.

Apparently, the IRL fan’s love affair with the all-singing, all-dancing, quick to strip down, Ms. Danica Patrick is wearing thin. After a thoroughly disappointing 23rd-place qualifying run, her perpetual petulance led Patrick to say on the public address system fault lay with her team (owned by one Michael Andretti), not her. The crowd’s reaction was loud, profane, and overwhelmingly negative. Come on back to NASCAR, Danica. FOX still thinks you’re the next best thing to Junior.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune

In the two intermediate sections of the race, Jimmie Johnson looked untouchable, but the final segment didn’t go his way. Johnson took a decidedly agricultural detour through the grass after losing traction on the back end of his car.

Mark Martin seemed to be setting himself up quietly for a shot at the win late in the race when Joey Logano’s Toyota came out of the grass and into the side of the No. 5 car.

Jeff Gordon, who has won this deal three times, managed to put his car into the wall on the very first lap of the event.

Jamie McMurray had a much stronger run than his eighteenth-place finish indicates, but that seems to be the case nearly every week for the No. 1 team.

Three of Rick Hendrick’s cars got caught up in the big wreck, leaving Johnson to have to remove himself from competition unassisted.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

It was a pretty good weekend for Roger Penske, winning the All-Star Race and claiming the top two starting positions for the Indy 500.

Kurt Busch bounced off the wall twice during the event but rebounded to win it.

Martin Truex had to race his way into the All-Star event, and thus started at the back of the pack for the big race. He rallied nicely to a second-place finish.

As badly as Tony Stewart ran much of the night, it actually seemed that his car ran stronger after getting involved in the big wreck. Stewart rallied back to fifth; but of course, in this race nobody remembers who finished second, much less fifth.

Worth Noting

  • Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin scored top-10 finishes in both the 2009 and 2010 All-Star races. Joey Logano had top-10 results in both races.
  • The top 10 finishers drove three Toyotas, three Chevys, two Fords and two Dodges.

What’s the Points?

This race is pointless. Which, I guess, is supposed to be the point.

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 can of generic stuff… all earned in the final fifteen minutes. Up until that point, “the Big Show” was a colossal dud.

Next Up: From what should be a brief non-points event to the longest points-paying event on the circuit… the World 600 takes center stage next Sunday night. (Oh, I hear they’re having some sort of race somewhere in the Midwest next Sunday afternoon, too.)

Contact Matt McLaughlin

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Beyond the Cockpit: Alexis DeJoria On The 300 mph Women of the NHRA
A Swan’s Broken Wings Equal NASCAR’s Next Concern?
Thinkin’ Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
Pace Laps: Swan Racing’s Future, Fast Females and Dropping Out
Sprint Cup Series Facilities Can Build Upon Fan Experience by Looking to Their Roots


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

05/24/2010 06:33 AM

To quote the late great Dale Sr. “Doesn’t matter if they are cherring or booing as long as they are making noise”. Well guess what, they’re making noise for Danica.

Just further proof of Danica’s overwhelming influence on the racing world.

There are so many similarities between Danica and Dale: single-name recognition, marketing dream, driving style, and class.

If/when RCR puts Danica in the 3 car we’ll see the championships roll in, and NASCAR return to its illustrious days!

05/24/2010 06:55 AM

Suppose Jayski could start a tally of how many times DW contradicts himself during a telecast? Man that guy is stupid!

05/24/2010 08:07 AM

i want some of the medication dansmom is taking.

Margarrita Chicken
05/24/2010 08:38 AM

At least Danica is a better driver than Dale Jr. Danica #88 Go com Hendrick Chevy.

05/24/2010 08:47 AM

there’s quite a few differences between Dale Senior and Danica.. 70 plus of them to start. The rest of your comments I won’t even diginify with a response. Dale Sr. classy? I’d venture to say we’ll see her in Playboy before she ever gets a win in the Nationwide Series. She’s pushing 30 so the clock is ticking on that spread for Hef.

Loved the invocation, that little guy is one hell of a fighter. Sw the story on ESPN last year I believe and let me tell you there are not a lot of things sadder and more uplifting at the same time than kids with serious illnesses or disabilities who are fighting their tails off to get better.

Anyway, the race. I watched the same race as everyone else and I for the life of me, cannot figure out why Kyle was so upset. He was NOT on the final lap and he had plenty of track to work with. All he had to do was work Hamlin for another lap or 2 then pass him. He must run his race teams the same way he drives, all emotion no rationale.

One thing I think I notice is that Hamlin can work the side by side when it counts. I wonder if the spoiler on the COT creates a bigger disturbance of air when two cars are side to side kinda like how your car gets out of sorts on the interstate when an 18 wheeler is alongside you. Any physicists out there, please feel free to fill me in.

And THAT is why I get frustrated with racing anymore, it’s all about turbulence and not about horsepower.

05/24/2010 08:57 AM

Hey! What happened to all the talk about “the NEW Kyle Busch”? Pardon me for borrowing a phrase from The Who: “Meet the NEW Kyle: same as the OLD Kyle”. What a boob! Though I’m not a Steven Wallace fan, I actually jumped and cheered when PeeWee got in his face after an altercation during a Nationwide race a while back and was (ahem) persuaded to back off. As much as I can’t stand Hamlin (remember his delayed reaction to an ear-beating from Kyle Petty?), I’d LOVE to see the two of them duking it out behind the hauler. (Oh, and please tell me what planet Dansmom is living on. I need to stay away from that one)

Kevin from PA
05/24/2010 09:09 AM

Danica in the #3? Yeah – I would expect to see from up here in PA the black smoke from NC being burned to the ground by the many riots.

Took me about three reads before I realized the comments were comparing Danica to Sr. and not Jr.

05/24/2010 09:14 AM

This race SUCKED, I too was going to give it one can but the hurried caution for Jimmy’s spin(where he TOUCHED NOTHING and everyone had passed him) in the grass cost the race that one can. After watching the all-snore race, I do not see how the 600 can beat INDY next weekend. The last 30 min of Bump Day had more Drama then the whole nascar all-snore race. I am not a big one wheel fan, but I do like INDY.

05/24/2010 09:17 AM

They need to bring back the elimination format. The Open was a better race as these guys are not motivated by money anymore, they are motivated by getting to the next race! The one year they did the elimination format was awesome…but Rusty complained so much since he did not make it past the first segment B. Smith dropped the idea. I remember him saying afterwards all “his” fans did not come here to watch him only race 30 laps…I am betting they did not show up to watch him run around the back either. I went to 11 “Winstons”…this was my second miss in a row and will not be back until they doing something different than 95 parade laps with a 10 lap shootout!

laidback racing
05/24/2010 10:21 AM

I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE STUPID COMMENTS BY DANSMOM….was in the stands and agree with matt…too much whoopla…boring for the most part but final 2 segments pretty good.

05/24/2010 10:26 AM

DansMom has to be a woman with a chip on her shoulder or an employee of IMG the management agency with DP. One fuel mileage race win in her long, non-illustrious IndyCar career. To compare her with almost any winner in any sports is non-sense. BigDaddy has gotten behind her and promoted the hell out of her. And they all have done a good job getting her name out there bigger than life. They really have. Makes good copy and makes plenty of Mo for her.

On the other hand these are the problems: as in Indy this weekend you just can’t whack on your crew in public. I have seen NASCAR guys do it and it just tears a team down. You just don’t DO that. Hell she just signed a 2 or 3-year deal with Andrettii. How is that gonna play out beatin up her team? She is just another over-hyped, over-paid, petted sports personality. Gawd this country is full of those. It’s boring. To me she is Kyle Busch in drag, just has 60 less top-tier wins to her name. I can put up with Kyle Busch because he is one exciting cat in Cup and gets the job done. His childish behavior is boring but dam can’t he drive? I love it. Patrick is childish with 1! count then ONE win. She is boring times 10.

Now here is another problem. She can drive an IndyCar, many can. A whole lotta downforce in your back pocket. She doesn’t want to get close to anyone on the track at all. Not a good trait to have in the frammin and bammin in NASCAR worlds.

And the final thing to me is creeping out just a bit since the new Nationwide CoT test at Daytona last week. LOOSE is what drivers are screaming. Patrick was so afraid to mash the gas at Daytona because she thought those cars are terribly loose. Here’s the Big Story: flash news media update breakin news: DP won’t be able to drive a loose race car, will likely fail miserably if this COT Nationwide car stays loose, or will have to rely on NASCAR to make rules to tighten the car up. “Screamin loose” is what I believe Carl Edwards or some other racer said about these new cars. Juxtapose Partick with Montoya—he is a world class racer but had his difficulties with a loose race car. But he gets it now and I hope can close the deal soon. Ain’t happnin for DP, period.

And by the way DansMon this has nothing to do with female for me. Give me a female who is a racer then I love her. Ashely Force Hood gets about a tenth of the media coverage but is three times better in her field than Danica. Period, end of story. And truly one last thing. I am from old school, like Smith Barney used to say you had to “earn” your money or billing or whatever. Nowadays, as a prominent sports writer wrote some months ago, “it’s not about your talent but the size of the deal you bring to the table these days that makes the news”—paraphrasing I am but translated it’s about the size of your pocketbook not the list of wins that gets a deal these days. Plus her marketing people, they just keep sleezing her down. How low can you go? She doesn’t have to me that pretty of a body. For me less is more. Cover her up, shut her up, take her off the airways and just shut up and win! That will do it for me. And really I hope she wins the Indy 500 this weekend. I really do. I just don’t want to see her stripped down in the news the next day. Ain’t professional. You want to bare it all goto Playboy and get out of the driver’s seat! And by the way she isn’t even close to the fix that NASCAR needs, but so many people over there think she is the Second Coming.

05/24/2010 10:32 AM

I have to correct you there Matt (no suprise)… Danica is better for NASCAR that JR ever was or will be.

05/24/2010 11:03 AM

I watched both “races” to the very end. Don’t know how I pulled that off. Except for the scripted, bunch them up for ten laps final segment, this whole thing was a boring, single file marathan. I kept waiting for “the gloves are off if you ain’t rubbin, you ain’t racin” part and it never happened. This is a microcosm of nas$car’s season. I was absolutely shocked at all the empty seats in the stands. nas$car needs to do something about the state of the racing and quick. I gave this race one beer.

05/24/2010 11:04 AM

Danica has more IRL wins than Dale had. Why? Because Dale never raced IRL. Dale has more Cup wins than Danica. Why? Because Danica has yet to race in cup.

05/24/2010 11:06 AM

Where are all of these playboy picks of Danica everyone keeps talking about? I’d kinda like to see them.

05/24/2010 11:08 AM

Why do people continue to respond to what’s her name? All she’s doing is baiting them.

05/24/2010 11:18 AM

I believe DansMom is actually BriansSister therefore I will call her B.S.

Bad Wolf
05/24/2010 11:22 AM

Speed had some good shows on last weekend about Junior Johnson, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt before the Hall of Fame inductions Sunday. It almost brought tears to my eyes watching the clips of real stock cars driven by the masters of the sport before the day Brian France and money took over.

After watching those it mad me cringe even more as Saturday nights bloated and overhyped show went on. They have to get it through their heads that sometimes less is more, and will someone please put a plug in DW’s mouth. His “Expert” analysis is wearing especially thin these days to the point where even he must be questioning his ability in the booth.

As for the quick caution for JJ as he was safely sliding through the grass 200 yards away from the racing groove; We can’t have a double file restart “Shootout Style” to spice up the action without one. Just imagine how exciting the finish of the 1976 Daytona 500 could have been if they only had the GWC back then and threw the yellow at the drop of a hot.

Bill B
05/24/2010 11:23 AM

I want to know how they will find enough clips from Saturday night to make a promo for next year’s race. There just wasn’t that much action.

05/24/2010 11:37 AM

Guys, I think Dansmom may have been being just a bit facetious.

05/24/2010 11:53 AM

Amen Janice!! DW is the biggest idiot out there with that old and tired “Boogity,B,B” that NO ONE wants to hear anymore that HE just doesnt get, and THEN…. GUARENTEEING that the #48 would win the All Star with 10 laps to go.
WHAT AN IDIOT!! Thank God FOX is nearly done with their part of the NASCAR coverage an d we wont have to hear DW for awhile!! Bet he had to go cry on his BF “Mr”. Hendricks shoulder and do a little more brown nosing after that one.
(newsflash DW Rick Hendrick could care less about you. But just keep on pimping his cars anyways)

Funny DW how you never did get around to “‘splainin” how JJ never won after the “I GUARENTEE IT!” statement. No you conveniently forgot all about it didnt you DFW.Except to say “I didnt think it was possible(for anyone else to win)” Well WHY NOT DW?? Did you just think everyone else would just let him on by because he is one of “Mr.” Hendricks boys?? Bah…MORON!!

05/24/2010 12:02 PM

Why would the first 90% of the race mean anything anway? You can’t win a 100 lap race on laps 1-99. But you sure can lose it! (See Kyle Busch)

As far as the pagentry, could you all be any more selfish? Saturday Nights “showcase” was as much for the crew as it was for anyone else. At no other time durring the season are all-star crews names displayed on the TV while they are celebrated with lights, a band, and some face time on National TV. I’m so sorry that their 15 seconds of fame wasted 15 minutes of your precious life.

05/24/2010 12:31 PM


Don’t you mean “should be taking”? Who keeps kicking her out of bed at 6 in the morning? Where’s DansDad when you need him? Poor Dad.

There were probably a lot of fans yelling “Why?” when the yellow came out for Johnson’s trip through the grass when he turned the Car of Terror into a lawnmower. It seems to cut the grass better than it drives.

There seem to be a few drivers who have that entitled attitude who don’t want other drivers to “race” them, like Kyle and Jimmie.

05/24/2010 12:33 PM

I actually believe that DansMom is a master fisherman. No matter what bait is thrown out there she gets all the strikes she can handle. Sarcasm can be a little hard for some to grasp.

05/24/2010 12:44 PM

Here’s my suggestion to eliminate some of the boredom in the early segments. Elimination. Start with more cars, and eliminate the back 5 or however many it takes until you get to a reasonable number for the final segment, which should be 20 laps, not 10. That might stop the meaningless and boring driving around we saw in the back of the pack in the early segments.

Kevin in SoCal
05/24/2010 01:03 PM

After watching Wendy interview Kyle Busch’s fiancee Sam after the burnout contest, I have to wonder what they see in each other. She has a high-pitched nasal voice like Fran Drescher and seems more concerned about shoes and her wedding than she does about his racing.

10 laps to the finish seems like a great amount to me. Any more and you end up with the “racing” you had in the first 50, 20, and 20 lap segments.

05/24/2010 01:06 PM

@ DansMom: I know you get lonely without me pointing out how incredibly stupid you are, so here goes: I pray to God that you get twice weekly visits from CPS. Someone needs to be making sure Dan’s diapers are changed and he is fed.

@ Matt: I find it interesting that people make such a big deal out of the All-Star race paying $1,000,000.00 to win. The first Winston paid that much. Back then you could build 15 cars for that much money. It was 1/10th of a top teams annual budget. Now you can build 3 cars and it is 1/30th. It’s a joke.
All of the “one-time” paint schemes is kind of funny. Many teams have so many sponsors every race is a one time paint scheme.
I know you were being sarcastic, but you should chop your fingers off for typing an invitation to Dani-crap to return NASCAR’s way. Just point her in the direction of the nearest stripper’s pole and she will have found her dream job.

@ Randy: I would love to point out how idiotic your comments are, but so far, debating any topic with you has been as much fun for me as beating up a blind man. So I will just shake my head and leave you to your pedophilic fantasies of Danica.

05/24/2010 01:08 PM

I’ve said it often, the way to beat the 48 is to take off the kid gloves and pressure JJ, not learn Chad’s secrets. He shows repeatedly that if you run him hard and make him uncomfortable, good things happen. He couldn’t even handle starting off the front row Saturday night without turning into high dollar landscaper.
That’s how F1 drivers finally got rid of Michael Schumacher.

Margarrita Chicken
05/24/2010 01:08 PM

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, i want to see more of Digger. The only thing that would make FOX broadcast better would for Michael Waltrip to also be in the booth. Did anyone else notice how John referred to Danica as “DP”! HAHA funny!

05/24/2010 01:15 PM

with how the race was saturday night, i have a feeling i’ll be working on a project sunday and flip on the race around 8 or 9 pm. 600 miles of what we’ve seen all season long until last 10 laps. no way.

watched the hof stuff. figured they’d do earnhardt last to keep the television audience. watching the audience during his induction, tears from non-family members almost 10 yrs later. says a lot of what it going on with the sport.

i swear brian france looks like he’s got an affliction. he couldn’t sit still or stand still. when he was sitting there, i kept waiting for the drool to roll down his chin. figured his sister would pull out a bib and put it on him. sure hope brian france is happy.

05/24/2010 01:16 PM

@ Kevin in SoCal: That’s the easiest question in the world to answer.He loves her implants, she loves his money. It’s the 21st cuntury’s answer to “The American Dream”.

It’s official! I am now convinced Marrgarita Chicken is DansMom‘s second screen name. I suspected it for a while, Marrgarita is the only person to type the sentence: “DansMom is right.” And it answers the question of what she is high on when writing her posts.

Dan Hill
05/24/2010 01:17 PM

Noel, i think you should be happy that another female like yourself will be joining the top ranks of NASCAR.

Margarrita Chicken
05/24/2010 01:24 PM

I am not Dans Mom, but thatns for the compliment. I cannot help it that she has alot of valid points.

Bad Wolf
05/24/2010 01:27 PM

Last year it was “Nascar Crusader” and a host of others.

Bill B
05/24/2010 01:31 PM

“Why would the first 90% of the race mean anything anway?”

Because they want us to watch it and not just tune in for the last ten laps!!!

05/24/2010 01:43 PM

Is it just me or does Noel seem to have a lot of pent up anger? Maybe there is trouble at home between her and her boyfriend.

05/24/2010 02:08 PM

“I’m wondering if any fans in the stands were injured when the right-side window of Kahne’s car flew into the (fortunately sparsely populated) grandstands during his wreck with Kyle Busch. In this case, I guess no news is good news.”

The window landed on the track. I watched it yesterday after DVR’ing Saturday night as I had better things to do. I only watched the last 10 laps by the way. Wish they would do every race like that, so as you are fast forwarding you can easily see when to stop.

Anway, on the original replay it did look like the window went over the fence, but from a different angle you can clearly see it came back down on the track side of the fence.

05/24/2010 02:10 PM

I tried to read thru the mess above in case someone had already answered and gave up! Sheesh!

MATT, that side window never made it into the stands. I was specifically watching for it during the different replay angles, and in one you could see that it fell back down onto the track. The first angle looked like it leapt the fence, but it was just the way the camera faced – it actually went straight up and back down onto the track. Thank goodness!

05/24/2010 02:10 PM

The All-Star snooze fest was a bust. too much talk, not enough action. All of the breaks just make it choppy. Kyle is not new and improved, I wonder if his Mom and Dad are proud of him? My mother would have had a word or two with me if I had ever acted like he does in public.

Danica is another “fine” example of how not to act. I would love to see a woman in racing that I could support, but Miss Petulant isn’t it.

05/24/2010 02:14 PM

Ha! I guess I type too slow – KyCupFan beat me to it! :)

05/24/2010 02:21 PM

MargarritaChicken - Dansmom's valid points? Not today...Comparing Danica and Dale?? Midasmicah – with the fishing story and all – she’s officially thee masterbaiter for the day. I was avoiding her but she got me cuz if margaritaville.

05/24/2010 02:30 PM

Sorry about the mess – I got my grand daughter off my lap now…

Thanks for the update on the flying side window..

05/24/2010 02:40 PM

The only “The Winston” or “All Star” race I attended was the very first one in 1985. In fact, the race was only announced about a month beforehand! It was held after the Grand National race on Saturday before the 600. Those who already had their tickets for that day (which I had!) got to see it at “no additional charge!” Best format ever, too … … 70 laps … too long for anyone to last on a tank of gas … and just racing! No “time outs” or other strange rules! The only “ground rule” was every driver had to make a pit stop between laps 30 and 40. Also, the field was any DRIVER who had won in 1984 and in 1985 up to the time of the race. I always wondered if the drivers “arranged” which lap they would pit (between 30 and 40) as the spread it out over the entire ten laps and there was never more than two cars on pit road. Yes, we all know what happened to “Ol’ D.W.‘s motor when he took the checkered flag … LOL! Yes, I would love to see the race revert back to the orignal format.

05/24/2010 02:58 PM

I dont get why everyone is so against Danica joining NASCAR. She is obviously exactly what this sport needs right now. She is an amazing driver, has a great look, and can bring lots of sponsorship dollars to the track. I think she is a perfect fit for all of the Dale Jr. fans that are jumping ship right now because they finally realized he isn’t any good at racing.

Dont get mad because she is doing what Erin Crocker couldnt.

05/24/2010 03:20 PM

Interesting how no one seemed to like the first 90 laps of the race. But the last 10 laps everyone loved.

Also – on a totally unrelated note there sure were a lot of wrecks in the last 10 laps. hmmmm…

laidback racing
05/24/2010 04:04 PM

gopapa has a point that i brought up last year….I think they should eliminate drivers in 40 to 50 lap heat races and then we would see RACING every weekend not follow the leader until 30 to go.

05/24/2010 05:19 PM


I for one could give a flip whether she enters NASCAR or not. My thing is people want her fast tracked to Cup, but quite frankly, of all of the open wheel drivers over time who have ventured to NASCAR, she has the worst resume, and aside from a safe performance in the ARCA race in Daytona, she’s underwhelmed. I think if anything, the Indy fans are tiring of her act. Yes she’s easy on the eyes, if you like flat-chested raven haired women with a constant sneer and a petulant attitude who never do any wrong, but they are starting to see her for what she is, a whining brat (something different that many call Kyle Busch but that would not be cool to say about a woman; starts with b) but with the past couple years playing the NASCAR leap game to get a better contract, they are seeing that she’s all sizzle no steak and to throw your team under the bus at Indy is like flipping off the fans at Lambeau Field or dropping a deuce in the wodods off the 18th green at Augusta, you just don’t break code or etiquette. You call out your crew like that, you’re begging for an F you during the race, like when Robby Gordon lost what was it 7 tires at a race one year?

In conclusion, I could care less if she drives in Cup. Ideally she’ll have to earn her way up, unless some car owner in the top 35 transfers points to her team. IMO, she is simply not a good stock car driver (as she has barely done it)and won’t be for a few years if that. She doesn’t have the patience of Sam Hornish or even JPM.

05/24/2010 06:17 PM

>>Add ol’ DW to the most booed drivers list. During his days with Junior Johnson, he was booed more than Earnhardt.
>>>Since Qualifying is pretty meaningless, they should start all races with a blind draw. It certainly made the first segment of the “Open” interesting with lots of 3-wide racing.
>>>This year’s “Winston/Nextel/Sprint/Backyard Brawl” was no different from most years. It’s usually overhyped and lacking on drama. There have been great moments over the years, but generally, the 600 is a better race
>>>Being in attendance, I actually thought the crowd was pretty good. (It was much better attended than the last couple of Fall 500’s at Charlotte) Charlotte Motor Speedway (nice ring to it) did curtain off the Jewel Box seats in the Diamond Tower, probably eliminating about 5,000 seats from the official capacity. It’s scary, but at one time Bruton planned to put up 250,000 seats and ring the entire race track. How empty would that look?

>>>Watching the race live from the Turn 1 Grandstand, Hamlin definitely changed his line in the corner and put a major block on Kyle Busch. It was a stupid move as he killed his own chance to win, losing so much momentum that the #2 car was able to blow past him down the back straight.

>>>Montoya ruined a great run for Regan Smith in the Open. He was truly at fault for the incident and his comments afterwards were idiotic.

05/24/2010 06:49 PM

I love Ashley Force Hood! Three times better looking than Dan Patrick and five times better racer. I would like to see under her hood! Go Ashley Poppa is John Force Hood!

05/25/2010 01:05 PM

Did somebody actually use “Dale” and “class” in the same sentence? They must not have been alive in the 80’s.

Chris Evans
05/25/2010 04:35 PM

Excellent post and excellent discussions.

I couldn’t agree more on so many of the replies.

I agree that if the final part of the event was longer than the 10 laps that it was that they would get strung out like they were on the forgettable other segments of the race.

Also I agree about Kyle Busch being way out of line. I’m no Hamlin fan but Busch for some reason decided to push the issue to the high side and put himself in the wall. Hamlin didn’t do anything wrong. Why it was all or nothing right I that moment in Busch’s head is very strange. Why Joe Gibbs ,who presents himself as a good Christian man, tolerates this petulant behavior by Busch is beyond me. I guess winning is the only thing.

And DW is one of the greatest windbags of all time as an announcer. He has almost ruined the memory of a tremendous racing legacy (at least through ’92 and parts of ’98 when he drove the #1 car) by his awful announcing. Sometimes it would be better if ex-drivers just ‘faded away’.

Also I hope that all of the rough edges of Dale Earnhardt are not smoothed away by time. I think if he is turned into a plaster saint and all of his flaws forgotten it would make him a much less fascinating person to study. I think his story is as much of an American story as Junior Johnson and Richard Petty. And this is from someone who couldn’t have been madder at him after what he did to Terry Labonte at Bristol in ’99.