The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Martinsville Race Recap by Vito Pugliese -- Tuesday March 30, 2010

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Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Martinsville Race Recap

Vito Pugliese · Tuesday March 30, 2010


Editor’s Note: Matt McLaughlin is off today. Vito Pugliese filled in … look for Matt’s thoughts on the race to pop up a little later this week!

The Key Moment: On a green-white-checkered restart in overtime (Lap 507), The No. 11 car of Denny Hamlin on four fresh tires tagged the back of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet of Ryan Newman, then the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet of Jeff Gordon – and then the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford of Matt Kenseth, clearing the way for him to take the lead and the victory. Teammate Joey Logano scooted by behind him, coming home in second for a one-two Joe Gibbs Racing Finish.

Denny Hamlin had no problem enjoying the thrill of victory Monday, scoring his second straight Martinsville win in thrilling fashion after charging from ninth to first over the final 12 laps of the race.

Dramatic Moment: Which one? With four laps to go, Hamlin restarted ninth – five rows back. The next lap, he went three-wide for fourth place, where he would stay until Paul Menard got together with Kyle Busch. That brought out the final caution and green-white-checkered restart – while leader Jeff Gordon was within helmet-throwing distance of the white flag. Then, Gordon got bumped by Kenseth on that final restart, causing plenty of extracurricular activity between them that allowed Hamlin to pass for the win.

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

All we heard last week from just about every news source on television, print media, and the internet was about the formation of a new independent group so steadfast in their beliefs and deeply held convictions, they would do whatever they could in their power to help bring about and effect change. No, not the Tea Party, the informal ABJ Group: Anybody But Johnson. Well, following Denny Hamlin’s second consecutive win at Martinsville, and third in ten attempts, the potential stands that there might be an ABH Group forming shortly. It’s probably for the best they don’t, though; that acronym is already taken. (If you have ever watched Gangland on The History Channel, you’ll know what I’m talking about…)

Might Casey Mears get a shot at driving one of the best cars in Sprint Cup Racing next week at Phoenix? Very possible, with Monday’s rain-delayed race delaying Denny Hamlin’s scheduled surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in a basketball game early this year. But should Hamlin not be able to go, or need to be relieved, Mears would be climbing into a car that has been hard to handle at flat tracks. And Mears’ career at Phoenix hasn’t exactly been stellar, either. With an average finish of 27.2 at PIR, he has to be wishing that surgery could have come a week later at Texas (where he has four career Top 10s and a pair of Top 5s). Then again, considering the sled he has been trying to get into races this year, he’d probably feel just as fortunate driving a Fed Ex truck.

If there is indeed any truth to the rumors Martinsville is in danger of losing a date to Kansas or Kentucky, please NASCAR, come to your senses. Use this race as witness to the glory of short track racing, as it was easily the best we’ve had in quite sometime. Time and time again, the old tracks never disappoint, and today – on NASCAR’s sole original track remaining from 1949 – was no exception. If there is anything more beautiful than the sights and sounds of 43 unmuffled, 900-horsepower stock cars pulling off the second turn at Martinsville amid the greenery on a crisp, sunny, spring afternoon, these four eyes and two ears have yet to feast upon it. Then again, producing one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history at Rockingham in 2004 did nothing for The Rock to free its melon from the unrelenting guillotine of “progress…” so stay tuned. Attendance Sunday was listed at 58,000 (10,000 short of capacity), and Monday’s crowd was estimated at 40,000 – even though the stands looked less than half full. Those are the worst attendance numbers for the 2010 Sprint Cup season to date.

If it wasn’t enough that he didn’t win for the fourth time in six races, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus were heard to be – gasp! – disagreeing with each other on the radio early in the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. Under caution, Johnson asked Knaus for some assistance getting into the pits, to help him avoid pushing the envelope too far and getting busted for speeding. Surprised, Knaus responded repeatedly and emphatically that Johnson was to absolutely not try and slow his entry down at all because: “it is impossible for you to get caught speeding in that section!” And to think some fans actually dare to raise the specter that it’s anything less than honorable the way Knaus and company have managed to win those 50 races and four championships. (Or is that 48 races? Knaus was suspended for two of them for cheating with an adjustable rear window during Daytona 500 qualifying in 2006. Whatever.)

It appeared there may be another entry into the Brad Keselowski saga after Keselowski’s No. 12 Dodge, sporting the new corporate logo of two diagonal slashes (apparently a long-horned sheep just didn’t resonate as Chrysler’s performance icon) bounced off the curbing in Turn 4 and into Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Aflac Ford. But nobody was put on their lid this week, and when informed of Keselowski’s apology, Edwards responded, “That’s fine.” So all appears to be forgiven between these two… until you remember that driver of the No. 99’s still on probation. Remember, Edwards took responsibility for the Atlanta incident right before sending Keselowski skyward.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and crew chief Lance McGrew were both pleased with the performance of the No. 88 AMP Sugar Free Chevrolet during practice this past weekend. But come race time, the car was again not quite right and just a tick off the pace in coming home 15th. A pit road problem was once again the key to self-destruction, with a call by McGrew to pit closer to the box costing Earnhardt precious time on a caution flag stop; it dropped him well outside the top 10, and while stuck in traffic the duo was never able to work their way back up. That left them stuck with a mixed bag result in what’s typically been a mixed bag season to date. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is still in the Top 10 in points, 159 markers out of first. However, he is also less than 100 points out of 19th. Maybe McGrew should accuse him of something heinous again to help spark his tone up a little. You know, April 15th is fast approaching; he should probably mention something about him driving like he cheats on his taxes. Even though the whole world doesn’t need to be hearing that…

While Matt Kenseth and A.J. Allmendinger have both campaigned this season in cars dressed in the Valvoline paint scheme that was ran by Mark Martin from 1992-1995, it’s Martin who has seemingly regained his luck from that era. Three consecutive miserable weeks have stymied a strong start to his 2010 season that saw a pole win at Daytona, followed by back-to-back fourth-place finishes at California and Las Vegas wiped out by hitting a wall (literally) at the short track swing of Bristol and Martinsville. But fans of the Little Guy need not worry – it was at this point last season he came to life with a dominant win at Phoenix, and that just so happens to be the next track on the schedule. Through the slump, the performance of the No. 5 team has not been in question… only the propensity for bad things to happen to them at the most inopportune time. But the mental toughness that Martin credited as being his greatest asset and contribution to his new team last year is being put to the test early on in 2010.

The Hindenburg Award For Foul Fortune:

Jeff Gordon was within all of 100 feet of crossing the start/finish line as the white flag was displayed, only to have it be replaced with a yellow rag as he drove under the spotter’s stand on lap 499. At least the legion of No. 24 fans will have somebody else to kick around this week instead of Steve Letarte – who, by the way, called a fantastic race and had it all but won if not for the Kyle Busch/Paul Menard incident behind them. By not pitting and staying out, he still stood the best chance they had at winning after leading 92 of 500 laps. And if third place finishes are disappointing… you have got to be doing something right.

Kevin Harvick need not fret over leading the Sprint Cup standings by one measly point, as did entering Martinsville. While running second on lap 106, the rear brakes disappeared on the Shell-Pennzoil Impala, sending him to the garage area for repairs. Harvick would return but 33 laps down, eventually falling 100 laps back by the end of the race in a finish that cost him the points lead. But he would not be the only contending RCR machine to suffer problems this day…

Mark Martin once again had a car capable of a Top 5 finish for the third straight week – and capable of winning for the second week in a row – only to be felled by a blown right front tire with 21 laps remaining. That, of course, happened after scrambling from 24th to sixth over a 100-lap period, following a pit road penalty when the air hose was snagged on a bowed out lower quarterpanel extension. The extra four inches of sheet metal hanging down was the result of mandated body modifications to help maintain aerodynamic sideforce, a result of the addition of the new spoiler (which replaces the former wing’s side plates.)

Kyle Busch was in second Monday with ten laps to go before an ill-fated decision to pit for tires under yellow left him 10th. Back in traffic, that led to a hard crash (courtesy of Paul Menard) just before the white flag lap that left Kyle’s car totaled – and added an extra 2 to his final result (22nd).

Kyle Busch had tumbled back as far as 34th in the early going, but was in line for a top 10 finish late when Paul Menard slid into him entering turn three. Busch smacked the wall between turns three and four, ending what was a Herculean effort to rebound from what appeared to be a disaster in the making (and it was, joining Hamlin for a “scratch your head” pit stop call he could never recover from).

Juan Pablo Montoya should just give up and quit at this point. I don’t mean that sarcastically, or to cast aspirations on Montoya or his team. Sometimes, the world just really is out to crush and destroy you. His day at Martinsville was proof positive, as he blew a right front tire on lap 126, sending him headlong into the frontstretch wall. Upon completing repairs to the Target Chevrolet, he returned to the track, only to have the same thing happen – at the same place. So unless the ghost of Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock was concealed amongst the shrubbery in turns one and two and picking out his Goodyears, Montoya was the recipient of either some really bad luck, excessive front camber, brake heat, or something cutting into his tire for it to happen with the kind of regularity one would expect from a tablespoon of Metamucil.

Jeff Burton had perhaps the one car that was capable of keeping pace with Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota – and passing it. The RCR driver was poised to claim his first win of the season – and in a year and a half – until he, too, suffered right front tire detonation on lap 491, causing the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet to plow into the Turn 4 wall like an Israeli bulldozer through a terrorist compound on the Gaza Strip. (With that being said, I’d also like to wish our Jewish readers a Happy Passover today.)

Jeff Gordon may have had a sure win snatched from his grasp about two seconds before crossing the stripe on the white flag lap that would have ended the race – but at least he didn’t blow a tire like Matt Kenseth did coming to the white flag. He just helped cause it, after contact with Kenseth in turn 1 of that final restart kept both cars tangling with each other instead of Victory Lane.

The “Seven Come Fore Eleven” Award For Fine Fortune

Denny Hamlin showed why it isn’t often you restart with four laps to go five rows deep and are suddenly in contention to win a race. (Unless you’re Kevin Harvick at the Daytona 500, or Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the Daytona 500.) I guess that’s the whole point of the green-white-checkered finish: expecting the unexpected, predictable uncertainty, and organized chaos.

Joey Logano learned from one of Martinsville’s up-and-coming legends Sunday, following Denny Hamlin around late en route to a shocking second place finish.

Joey Logano, in keeping with the Jewish holiday theme here, saw Denny Hamlin as his Moses, parting the Red Sea for the orange Home Depot No. 20 to sneak through for a one-two Joe Gibbs Racing Finish. It was his best ever run at Martinsville (and first top 10 in seven short track starts) which is really not all that surprising; after all, the kid is all of 19 years old and has raced here on just two other occasions – his previous best being a 12th place run last Fall.

Marcos Ambrose succeeded in running into just about everything except the hot dog carts, bringing home what was left of the No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota in 11th place. With the alacrity of his spins, swipes, and spastic actions on the .526-mile paperclip today, the Tasmanian Devil lived up to his nickname Monday afternoon. However, at Phoenix or Richmond in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised to see his car being delivered to the garage on a flatbed early in the going, by way of retribution from at least five drivers who had reason to be angry at his tactics.

Paul Menard continues to hang on to a Top 12 points performance by way of a 14th place finish, his sixth top 20 in as many races. But his steady-as-she-goes persona was shaken a little bit by a number of incidents that saw the nose of his No. 98 Menards Ford looking decidedly Martinsville-ized by days end.

Martin Truex, Jr. and crew chief Pat Tryson finally have a strong finish (fifth) to reflect the number of solid runs the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing team has assembled this year. Clearly, the results have not reflected the effort or the performance thus far in 2010. But rest assured, while Truex may be struggling for camera time on the track, the U.S. Navy can set their atomic clock with the consistency that his NAPA commercials air each and every commercial break. He may not know how to get to the moon, but when it comes to pressing Mute, I know just what to do.

Worth Noting:

  • Denny Hamlin’s win is his third at Martinsville, tying his career high for wins at a particular track (Pocono). In the last eight races at the paperclip, there have just been two winners: Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.
  • Joey Logano’s second place finish was his best since winning New Hampshire last June.
  • Ryan Newman (4th) had his first top 5 finish since Pocono last June – a span of 30 races.
  • Brian Vickers (6th) had his best ever finish at Martinsville and his best at a short track in 32 career starts at Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond.
  • Clint Bowyer was the only Richard Childress Racing entry to finish in the Top 10 (7th), despite teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton combining to lead nearly 200 laps.
  • Jimmie Johnson is indeed human after all. He came home with a rather pedestrian ninth place finish, and failed to lead a lap for the third time this season. It’s also the first time he’s failed to lead at Martinsville since Fall 2005 … in those other eight starts in between, he led 1,380 laps, won five times, and never finished lower than fourth.
  • Greg Biffle (10th) is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all six races this season.
  • The top 10 Monday drove four Toyotas, four Chevys, and two Fords. Beyond that, two of each car make managed to finish in the Top 13. Short track racing: The Ultimate Equalizer of Parity.
  • David Gilliland (19th) posted the best finish for Front Row Motorsports this season after moving from the No. 38 to the No. 37 to keep that car (usually driven by rookie Kevin Conway) inside the top 35 in owner points.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (36th) has more finishes outside the top 35 in six starts this season (three) than he had during a full, 36-race season in 2009 (two).

What’s The Points?

Kevin Harvick’s brake issues put the brakes on him leading the standings. Jumping up two spots, Jimmie Johnson takes over the point with his top 10 finish Sunday. Greg Biffle is second, 14 back, while Matt Kenseth is two points behind him in third. Kevin Harvick (dropping three spots) and Jeff Burton round out the top 5.

Kurt Busch jumped up a spot to sixth, while Jeff Gordon’s strong performance bumped him up four spots to seventh. Tony Stewart dropped three positions to eighth, while Clint Bowyer moved up three to jump from twelfth to ninth. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. dropped a pair of positions and currently rounds out the top 10.

Further back, Paul Menard hangs on to a Chase bid in 11th while last year’s Cinderella story Brian Vickers is 12th. Among those on the outside looking in this early in the season include Carl Edwards (14th), Denny Hamlin (15th), Kyle Busch (16th), Mark Martin (17th), Kasey Kahne (20th), Ryan Newman (22nd), and Juan Pablo Montoya (25th).

Overall Rating (on a scale of one to six beer cans): In honor of Wrestlemania XXVI being held this past Sunday, and my two buddies Justin and Jason in attendance (both clad in Rowdy Roddy Piper “Hot Rod” T-shirts), I am going to give this one six beers, with two of those six consumed while simultaneously crushed together (a la Stone Cold Steve Austin.) Can I get a “Hell Yeah!!!” ??!!

Next Up:

Nothing this weekend – it’s Easter! Phoenix is on the docket for Saturday, April 10th, with the Subway 600 being raced at night in the desert. An extra 100 kilometers have been added, which I guess is important – if you are into the metric system and other communist propaganda.

Contact Vito Pugliese

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Did You Notice? … A Return To Richmond, Post-Spingate And Quick Hits
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Beyond the Cockpit: Tony ‘The Sarge’ Schumacher
Open Wheel Wednesday: Controversial Moves, Long Beach Crowds, and Being a Fuddy Duddy
The Frontstretch Five: Pleasant Surprises of 2014 So Far
IndyCar Driver Profile: Takuma Sato
Beyond the Cockpit: Tommy Baldwin on Owning His Team, Hall of Fame and the Number Seven


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Bad Wolf
03/30/2010 12:42 AM

Now tell me again how reconfiguring Bristol into a two groove track made the racing better. Todays race showed what real old skool racing is all about. Now if we could just get rid of the COT and Fox.

03/30/2010 01:51 AM

Because side-by-side battling (new Bristol) is infinitely better than single-file demolition derbies (old Bristol).

03/30/2010 02:24 AM

It’s not like Menard had any room to avoid Kyle while they were three wide. If you get wrecked on the outside of a three-wide group at Martinsville, it’s mostly your fault.

03/30/2010 03:30 AM

I have to agree with Sean. I was suprised at the caution for Kyle on lap 498, it seemed most cautions all day were a little slower then usual, no problem if consistent, and this one was split second, and with Gordon leading to boot. Who has Hendrick ticked off?

03/30/2010 05:25 AM

Boy , i bet Kenseth watches his back from now on . An enraged Jeff Gordon is a sight that you don’t soon forget . 94 lbs. of fighting fury . Cripes , Gordons’ wife could be far more intimidating than Jeff ever could be .

03/30/2010 06:21 AM

What a finish! First I thought it was Kenseth’s, then I thought it was Gordon’s, then Hamlin pulled a Ben Roethlisberger and took the checkered flag by force. Once the 11 car got in front we knew what would happen, we were just left watching the details unravel.

03/30/2010 06:30 AM

And another thing… I’m tired of all these new school fans claiming this “new spoiler” is so great.

You newbie fans will never understand the tradition of the winged car that us old school fans have.

The winged car is the only REAL car in NASCAR. for those of you who just joined us you missed CLASSIC racing requiring crew chiefs to hit the set-up for your team to succeed. The cars handling was so rough you had to WORK to get your car perfect, and passing was at such a premium Friday qualifying was almost as important as the race!

These new school fans make me sick. They’ll never understand the dominant days of old school drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards. Man, in those days if you’re team was hot you could spank the field with weekly consistency!

This “new” spoiler is such a step in the wrong direction for us old school fans. I mean, what’s going to happen to the mantra:

“Win on Sunday, Fly home on Monday!”

Stephen HOOD
03/30/2010 07:20 AM

It hasn’t been too long ago that Hamlin was deriding the young Keselowski about failing to respect his fellow drivers, and today Hamlin drove just like he has accused Keselowski of driving. Now I don’t mind Hamlin driving like he drove today, but I do mind his lack of introspection and his double standard. So, Keselowski, get back on the wheel and put that arrogant SOB into the wall!

03/30/2010 08:23 AM

Being and older fan, I loved yesterdays race up until 9 laps to go, and then NASCAR had to remind us that they will do anything within their power to manipulate a finish. People blew tires and bounced off the walls all day without cautions as long as they kept rolling. Jeff Burton’s problems all but guaranteed Hamlin’s win with no challenge so when Jeff Burton bumped the wall with 9 to go, we got a caution from NASCAR to “spice things up”. Now I am a Gordon fan, and I still didnt want to see that caution at lap 9. It was great short track racing. Its a shame NASCAR had to go and try to manipulate the finish. Denny ended up winning anyway, but I guess the ending was better than just watching Denny uneventfully circle the track those last nine laps. So tired of NASCRAP’s crap!

Carl D.
03/30/2010 09:08 AM

Your foot-in-mouth from yesterday has forced your tongue firmly into your cheek. Still, Hamlin’s win yesterday proves nothing except that he has Martinsville figured out. One track doesn’t make a champion. I’ll give him his due today, though… thanks to a ridiculous decision to pit with only a handful of laps to go, Hamlin had to earn the win, and he did.

Carl D.
03/30/2010 09:11 AM

Sorry… my previous comment was directed at Dansmom.

03/30/2010 10:10 AM

You mention Hamlin’s success at Martinsville and in the next paragraph, while discussing Mears driving the car at Phoenix you say that the car doesn’t handle well on flat tracks. They don’t get much flatter than Martinsville.

03/30/2010 10:22 AM

Jeff Gordon’s “if he hits me I’ll hit him back” attitude don’t fly. How many cheap shots has he given other drivers? Remember the race where he could not pass JJ so he banged on his bumper many times. JJ should have opened a can of whoop a** after the race. I am not a fan of anyone driving for Hendrick and I wasn’t pulling for Hamlin yesterday until I wanted someone to beat Gordon. I wish it could have Burton.

03/30/2010 10:22 AM

nascrap will DO ANYTHING to control the outcome of races, The WWE is alive and well in nascrap land!!

03/30/2010 10:44 AM

How did NASCAR manipulate the end of this race? Did they cause the wrecks? NASCAR has been fairly consistent with throwing yellows when cars are wrecking. What more do you want?

03/30/2010 10:47 AM

And Carl D.:

Where is Denny Hamlin in the points? 19th? Don’t you have to qualify for the chase to contend for the championship?

03/30/2010 10:55 AM

Vito: you came close to nailing the point with your Chad Knaus comment. But please remember that qualifying was rained out.

The 48 team – who usually qualifies on the front row at martinsville had the 3rd pit stall selection. As a result, the first and last pit stall was taken and they had to use thier third choice. Chad Knaus will ALWAYS take the pit stall that will benifit his team the most, and if he uses NASCAR’s lack of scoring markers to his advantage so what?

Darrell Waltrip said in the broadcast “you don’t race drivers who can’t beat you”. Well, why not take every advantage you can when there is NO WAY you can get caught.

The issue isn’t with the 48 team cheating, it’s NASCAR’s inability to consistenly enforce their rules. And every other team in NASCAR not going to extra mile to find ways to get an advantage.

Back to the main point. Johnson’s 3rd pick, hurt his performance on the track. He would consistently lose positions on the restart after not gaining (or sometimes losing) spots on pit road. Spots he’s used to gaining easily.

Additonally, I’m not a fan of the double file restarts at Martinsville. It’s a HUGE disadvantage to the drivers who retart in the even numbered positions.

Pete Erthrustin
03/30/2010 11:33 AM

Paul Menard’s car didn’t look Martinsville-ized, it looked Menards-ized. After the race, it looked like every other piece of trash vehicle you typically see when you visit a Menard’s store to buy China made sh**.

Carl D.
03/30/2010 12:53 PM


I’m guessing the definition of “Menardized” is: “a crumpled up piece of metal that used to be a race car bought with Daddy’s money.”

Pete Erthrustin
03/30/2010 01:07 PM

Carl… right on. But can you blame him for being a the lucky son of a rich man? I just like to mock Menards—even though I shop there. So I guess I am also a piece of trash.

03/30/2010 01:53 PM

once again, nascrap decides a race!!! It’s no wonder more and more fans are leaving the sport! I hope they all do!!! what a damn joke!

Carl D.
03/30/2010 02:06 PM

I lot of people get where they are because of family money. I don’t begrudge anyone for that. Still, the guy has torn up race car after race car in a career that has never been any better than mediocre. But hey… it’s a free country, and daddy can spend his money any way he damn well wants to.

03/30/2010 03:32 PM

DansMom , i’ve heard NASCAR called a lot of things , but consistent was never one of them . Their use ( or non-use ) of cautions has been an ongoing joke for decades . The yellows are anything but consistent .
VaBlueGrass , just a tip … quoting DW isn’t likely going to help you make any point . You are correct about the 48 team using any loophole they can find , but every team is well aware of those loopholes . On any given weekend most teams do exactly what the 48 group does , not copying , just doing what everyone knows to do . Sadly , the cameras and announcers are always on the 48 , so its hard to see what any other team does . But believe me , they’re pretty much all making the very same calls .

Lunar Tunes
03/30/2010 03:36 PM

Wow…Im just guessing here but, If DansMom thinks the ‘wing’ is old school stockcars and JJ, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards are “old school” drivers, ‘Dan’ must be an infant or toddler at best!!!!!

Bad Wolf
03/30/2010 03:48 PM

Dans Mom has her head up Nascars backside and thinks the racing since the COT and Brian France has been top shelf. She is just mocking the real old skool fans, and I think she is a paid shill sent here from the high offices of Daytona to instigate some damage control. I would not doubt that Dans Mom is actually Brian France himself sitting in front of his computer enjoying a “Soda”, trying to make everyone think all is well in Nascar Land.

03/30/2010 06:29 PM

Yay! Another writer whos bored and bashes Junior. Look the pitstops sucked, McGrew said so and Junior agreed and that was the end of that…what burned Dale was starting on the outside on those last 3 restarts(despite being 17th for the GWC, NASCAR put him on the outside. someone forgot how to count)

Jr also said he let Biffle in on the next-to-last restart so as to not wreck Greg. Watch the race with a scanner next time

03/30/2010 07:58 PM

You nailed it Bad Wolf. Dans Mom is Brian France. And I am Mike Helton. If you do not approve of the way NASCAR runs its business then STOP watching. I bet you are an INDY fan anyways.

Bill B
03/30/2010 08:45 PM

Hmmm. I kind of thought Dan’sMom’s rant on the wing vs the spoiler was sarcasm. Guess I’ll have to re-read it.

03/30/2010 08:56 PM

Well, Duh, Sunday’s attendance was because everyone but FOX knew it was going to rain, and Monday’s, gee I wonder if anyone had to work? NA$CAR will just use it as an excuse anyway. Brainless France only cares about the $$$$ and believes his Holy 1.5 cutters will sell out one day. So get ready to say goodbye. Martinsville will be lucky, down the road, to have one date.

old farmer
03/30/2010 09:12 PM

Does Dansmom ever say anything worth reading?Does she ever think before putting her foot in her mouth?

Dans Dad
03/30/2010 10:07 PM

Sorry about my wife. She forgot to take her meds again this morning.

03/30/2010 10:21 PM

SHHHH…She’s finally sleeping.

03/31/2010 11:33 AM

Matt—-come on man. I was at Martinsville and heard the whole conversation between JJ and Chad. JJ wanted to SPEED up between that section to make up time and Chad lit in to him about how it was not possible to make up that time and he would definitely be busted for speeding.

He wasn’t telling him not to slow down, he was telling him to MAINTAIN his speed.

Jeez with all the 48 hating!

old gal from socal
03/31/2010 06:50 PM

Hey Vito, thanks for filling in for our boy Matt and giving us something post-race to chew on!

I’m not a professional journalist, but I think you meant to say “casting aspersions” not “casting aspirations” in your comments about JPM’s sorry day at Martinsville. He probably has all the “aspirations” he needs…

Vito Pugliese - FS Staff
03/31/2010 09:41 PM

Old Gal –

Good catch. After sitting in front a computer for 9 hours and then banging out this 3,000+ word monolith to meet a deadline, sometimes spell-check has a mind of its own and my eyes go crazy like Sol Rosenberg. I’m surprised Russ didn’t catch this and e-mail me to tell me what a loser I am…. ; v ]

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