Watching the end of Sunday’s weird, wacky Kansas Cup race, I was as stunned as anyone to hear Jimmie Johnson say in his immediate post-race interview that he didn’t think Greg Biffle won the race. “He was clearly out of gas,” said Johnson. “I feel terrible for Greg. He’s been working so hard to win a race and he was up there in position to win it. But if you don’t maintain pace car speed, you don’t hold your position. And it was clear to everyone that he couldn’t do it. If he could have, he would have stayed on the bumper of the pace car to the finish line. So in my opinion, where he coasted across the finish line relative to the other cars that could maintain pit road speed is where he should finish.”
Some drivers love the strategy involved in drafting – picking and choosing partners and lines while using airflow to their absolute advantage. Other drivers just don’t get it, and lament the loss of control over their own destiny that comes with having to rely on someone else to make moves ahead of them. And this time around, there’s an even bigger unknown; in particular, how the CoT will make its restrictor plate debut. All of this makes for a particularly tricky race when considering your fantasy picks, and even then, this is one where simply surviving will win out over skill. So, who will figure it out and get lucky? Because, in all honesty, it will probably take a little bit of both. Keep reading on to see who is worth the gamble and who needs to sit this one out in this week’s Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans…
How should the race at Kansas have been completed on Sunday? Should they have called the race at 148 laps, run the race on Monday… or done something in between?
Amy: I think they did it right, under the circumstances.
Nikki: I agree, Amy, and not just because I wanted to get my money’s worth.
Beth: They probably should have specified a time for the race to end not a lap number.
The September 25th publication of the Frontstretch newsletter broke a story of race “fixing” that occurred September 23rd at Dover International Speedway. The publication provided incontrovertible evidence that Hendrick Motorsports driver Casey Mears, along with crew chief Darian Grubb and spotter Chuck Joyce, conspired to alter the finishing order of the race to allow fellow teammate Kyle Busch to gain valuable driver’s points in his quest for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship title. Frontstretch obtained radio transmissions from the Hendrick teams race frequency that clearly indicated that Mears, who is not eligible for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, was instructed to relinquish his position on the track to Busch.
1 – Number of times Greg Biffle led the LifeLock 400.
1. Goody’s, anyone? – Somehow, I think all the NASCAR bigwigs were ready to share a round of Goody’s headache powder by the end of today’s race. Officials were called upon to make numerous critical and highly controversial calls this weekend, culminating in the Cup race itself. Should the starting time have been moved up with thunderstorms in the forecast? Should the race have been called after the first red flag for rain? Should there have been a green-white-checkered finish after Juan Pablo Montoya hit the wall with four laps to go? Should Greg Biffle have been credited with the win after coasting across the start/finish line under caution? I know you guys have some strong opinions on these issues, so let’s hear from you!
It was already public knowledge at that point that Anheuser-Busch, who had been NASCAR’s entitlement sponsor of their second series for nearly a quarter of a century, was pulling out at the end of the year. To France’s credit, he did briefly mention that fact, and thanked them for their involvement in his fragmented manner of speaking that is so reminiscent of the first President Bush.
It’s another off-weekend for the Craftsman Truck Series, but that doesn’t mean I’m lounging around the house. Aside from the business of NASCAR racing, I keep myself extremely busy with David Starr Racing – my show car/simulator promotional company. We work with companies like Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper, and they use our real NASCAR Nextel Cup racecars for displays in front of Wal-Mart stores to promote their products and we also supply them with racecar simulators. We take simulators to different Wal-Marts every weekend, the kind where you get in, the seat moves left to right, and you have a big computer screen in front of you where your racing other cars. It’s a neat experience.
Western New York state resident Lloyd Moore is the last of the ’49ers. Not the gold-rush ’49ers – at age 95, Moore is about a hundred years too young for that. Nevertheless, Moore is a pioneer of sorts. He raced cars in the Strictly Stock series – predecessor of modern-day NASCAR – in its very first year of competitive racing.
You’d think NASCAR would have learned by the near-miss rainout of the Michigan event just over one month ago to change some of its dates around. That race in August did not get completed until the Tuesday after its scheduled Sunday start. Talk was such at the time that if, indeed, the event was a total washout not shoe-horned in before the circuit hit Bristol on Thursday, the sanctioning body would be forced to make Michigan the final date on the schedule. As a result, NASCAR would essentially bump all the other events, both regular season and playoff, up one week from their regularly scheduled dates.
I have always been an unabashed advocate of the Chase to the Nextel Cup Championship format since it began back in 2004. There’s a number of reasons for that. I believed at the time – as I do now – that when the pros and cons are objectively considered, tracking the 10-race playoff is considerably more entertaining (yes, auto racing is entertainment) than watching Jeff Gordon go through the motions for the last 15 races of the season, waiting to pick up his Nextel Cup Championship hardware already engraved.
10. “Look at that! Kyle’s glasses are all steamed over. Ya think he’s upset about something?” – Anonymous Hamlin Crew Member