Brian Vickers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson. Talladega. Discuss.
All the post-race attention at Talladega was on Brian Vickers’s uber-controversial last-lap punt of Chase contenders Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt – and understandably so. But Gordon and Earnhardt lit a few fireworks of their own when Jeff accused Junior of excessively rough bump-drafting.
There are certain things that we’ve come to expect from restrictor-plate races lately, and this weekend’s Nextel Cup race at Talladega had most of the bases covered. Side-by-side racing… check. Bump-drafting… check. The Big One… check. Controversy… check. Upset fans… check. It seems like the only checkmark left empty on a wild day in Alabama …
This isn’t a history column, per se. That’s the usual agenda, but if you came in looking for some stories from NASCAR’s glorious (and not-so-glorious) past, you might leave disappointed. What I’m going to write about – what I need to write about after the race at Talladega – is how NASCAR needs to prepare …
While attempting to make the pass on Junior for the lead, Brian Vickers bumped Jimmie Johnson from behind a little too hard and in the wrong place, clipping the No. 48 car in the right-rear corner and sending Johnson straight into the No. 8 Chevrolet. Both cars spun out of harm’s way down the back straightaway into turn 3 while Vickers streaked by to win the UAW-Ford 500.
The UAW-Ford 500 is the 30th race on the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule. The Cup Series visits the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway twice in 2006 – Jimmie Johnson won here in May.
The Cup Series heads to Alabama this Sunday for a run on the newly paved 2.66-mile tri-oval that is Talladega Superspeedway. With new asphalt and restrictor-plate engines, every team is going to be holding their breath for 500 miles, hoping they can be in the right place at the right time and avoid the Big One.
Jimmie Johnson was blowing by the competition and looked to be heading for a win that could have got him back in the title hunt, but Tony Stewart calmly came in and stole the Banquet 400 win away with a little extra fuel.
After a grueling 400 laps at Dover, which Cup Series Chase contenders are still hot on the trail of the championship and which ones are chilling out in the back heading to Kansas? Read this week’s Who’s Hot/Who’s Not to find out.
The Chase is on and what a better way to honor it then with some useless facts? That’s right, race fans, I said useless. But useless is as useless does, and like the Chase these facts are certainly useless, entertaining maybe, but totally unnecessary.