With the running of the 50th Coca-Cola 600, the biggest weekend of racing has mercifully come to an end… finally. And with Monday’s running of NASCAR’s longest race of the season nearly being a washout as well, another first-time winner wound up getting crowned in victory lane. David Reutimann embodied the old racing adage of …
How fitting is it that Jeff Gordon’s 47-race winless streak comes to an end at a track where he’s been winless for his entire career? Gordon was strong for much of the race, but it was a combination of a good pit stop by the No. 24 bunch and yet another poor stop by the No. 99 team that led to the coveted clean air needed for Gordon to pull away for the victory. The win may have been a long time coming, but it certainly wasn’t a surprise with the way the No. 24 team has been running this season.
Nobody can accuse Jimmie Johnson of being too boring or too perfect anymore. The man dubbed “Mr. Martinsville” by teammate Jeff Gordon drove deep into turn 1 with 16 laps to go and body-slammed Denny Hamlin for the lead and eventual win Sunday. The pass was not perfect, a little daring, and showed a side we haven’t seen much of from the three-time defending champion – hunger.
You’ve got to hand it to the powers that be that run Formula 1 – at least when they’re not consorting with hookers or doing their mad Rumplestiltskin on meth impersonations. They realize their brand of racing is in trouble. Skyrocketing budgets and technology has eclipsed driver skill and passing (well, they call it “overtaking”… those damn English have a different word for everything, which pisses me off… we let them steal our language). To combat the problem, several initiatives have been adopted to add some drama back to F1 racing – some of them so complex as to boggle this writer’s imagination. However, one of the easiest to understand is the new F1 points system introduced last week.
In the last couple of years, Formula 1 races have acquired a not necessarily undeserved reputation for being little more than two hour-plus processionals; a battle between the haves and the have-nots – the technological and financial titans who win with monotonous regularity and the smaller, upstart manufacturers with no hopes of winning whatsoever. But for a series so often derided as boring, Sunday’s season finale was anything but dull.
1. Yuck! – Max Mosley, President of the governing body that oversees Formula 1 racing — the most widely followed form of automobile racing in the world — won a breach or privacy lawsuit against a British tabloid this week. The magazine ran a story about the 68-year old’s sexual escapades that quickly got picked up by the international press, including one that included a role playing scenario which appeared to have Nazi overtones behind it. The Judge, in awarding $120,000 in damages to the F1 head said, “There was bondage, beating and domination, which seem to be typical of S&M behavior.”
This weekend saw a changing of the guard of sorts in professional motorsports, as two young drivers finally broke through to score their first career victories in their respective series of competition. Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tennessee, 24-year-old Brad Keselowski began his own Cedar Revolution of sorts, able to finally escape trouble and notch his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory. And only 12 hours later, just north of the border at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, 23-year-old Robert Kubica of Poland recorded his first win in Formula 1 competition, taking the checkers in his BMW-powered Sauber machine.
1. Now We’re Talking… Real Fascists! – Formula 1 racing is embroiled in a nasty and controversial sex scandal and some within the organization are asking for the removal of its president, Max Mosley. Mosley has been accused (complete with video) of engaging in a kinky XXX Nazi-role playing session with five prostitutes. Mosley and the paid performers were play-acting, he as a Nazi soldier and the prostitutes as Jewish women in a Nazi concentration camp. The 68-year old Mosley’s father was a well-known political figure in pre-war Britain and was a leader of the British Union of Fascists. In fact, Mosley’s parents were married at Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels’ home in Berlin, with Adolph Hitler in attendance as a guest of honor.