Summer Bedgood · Thursday June 6, 2013
I feel sorry for Juan Pablo Montoya.
Sure, he has a tendency to be the most obnoxious lapped car on the track and, let’s be honest, doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to stock car racing. He deserves most of the rap he gets and rarely receives maximum respect from his peers because of that.
Still … he has his moments. Aside from his expected road course standouts, he does have strengths on a few ovals and will occasionally emerge as the frontrunner when even Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart are left behind. Last weekend in Dover, he was just a couple laps shy of heading to Victory Lane for the third time in his career and first ever on an oval.
And people were still making jet dryer jokes. No, really, even as Montoya took the green flag (or not, if you ask Jimmie Johnson) there were fans saying, “Wait, make sure all the jet dryers are off the track!”
It is most unfortunate really. For a driver who is nearly racing royalty outside of NASCAR, it’s sad when their legacy is forever tarnished by a split second mistake on an already strange night. Montoya could win 10 more NASCAR races before he retires … and he’ll forever be remembered for the jet dryer. Win the Monaco Grand Prix, and it’s forgotten a few years later. Have a part break that sends your car into a ball of flames, blow up a truck, and burn a hole in Turn Three at Daytona, and you’ll never live it down.
That kinda sucks, don’t ya think? Then again, you were probably making the same joke!
I read about the penalties Brad Keselowski’s team got for their nose being too low after Dover. But if Paul Wolfe was already on probation, why were his penalties so light? Shouldn’t he have been suspended? Michael
The reason Paul Wolfe had such minimal penalties—$25,000 fine and remaining on NASCAR probation through the end of the year—was because it was decided that the front end was too low as a result of a parts failure. Since Wolfe is still in charge of the car, he was fined, but further infractions weren’t deemed necessary.
Personally, I think it was a good decision and, for the first time in a while, NASCAR’s initial penalties were actually understandable (as opposed to overbearingly harsh). Had they say, suspended Wolfe for another two months and docked the team 25 points, well, they were probably setting themselves up for another embarrassing overturn either from the appeals panel or Mr. John “Rescind” Middlebrook himself.
I know none of them are happy about the penalty at all—including the six-point penalty—but considering how NASCAR has been so penalty happy this year, they might want to consider letting this one be.
Is Lee White retiring because of TRD’s engine failures? Maybe Kyle Busch will actually start finishing races now. Kimberlyn
The president of Toyota Racing Development’s retirement is actually a result of some family health issues, and he was planning to retire at the end of the year as it was. I would say priorities are in order there and he has every right to take care of them.
In terms of TRD’s performance, I have a hard time believing he is solely responsible for their performance (or lack thereof). I’m nowhere close to being an engineer, but I would make the suggestion that the problem with Toyota is not from the president of the company but rather some deep rooted problems within the actual organization. Whether or not Lee White’s departure will impact the on track performance of their teams remains to be seen, though I think it will be minimal if at all.
TRD has a lot to figure out for sure, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up about this fixing anything. They will have to continually look into the problem and people in various positions of power will need to look at making changes where necessary.
Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be too worried about Kyle Busch. He seems to have this whole “victory lane” thing covered.
Can we officially put this whole ‘NASCAR fixes races for Jimmie Johnson’ to rest now? He clearly got screwed on that restart call. Josh
I agree that we should put the “fixing” saga to rest. I’ve never been on board with that conspiracy theory anyway, though I feel like I’m preaching to the choir right about now.
I disagree, however, that he got screwed on that restart. I’ve seen in about 150 times now (give or take a few…) and I just can’t figure out what Juan Pablo Montoya was doing. I don’t know if he did or didn’t go. All I know is that whole “I tried to let him go and then I tried to give it back” claim from Jimmie Johnson … was baloney. He clearly mashed that throttle and tried to run away from the field, just like any good racecar driver would do.
I think NASCAR mad the call that they had to. If Johnson had run away from the field (which he would have) and won the race, they would have opened the door for other drivers to try the same thing in similar circumstances. Can you imagine if next week at Pocono, the second place driver took off on the final restart of the day and NASCAR decided not to penalize him? It wouldn’t go very well either way around. So even if Johnson is telling the full truth about his attempts to give it back—which I’m not buying for a second—NASCAR couldn’t give any leeway. They had to follow the rules and there just wasn’t enough evidence to say that anyone other than Johnson didn’t follow them.
Now, my question to all of you: Do you think NASCAR gives special discretion to certain teams or are they generally fair?
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