Hey there and good morning. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. The weather is finally heating up here on the East Coast. My issues is going from the 50's to the 90's over night. I don't tolerate extremes any way but this was REALLY extreme. My garden is late getting in as a result of this strange weather. Hopefully I can get it in on Monday.
TNT COVERAGE STARTS JUNE 9TH
Oh goody. My favorite. Not. TNT control room hasn't got a clue. They don't show the race off pit road when they all pit under caution or post the out come and excessive commercials make my head spin among other complaints I have. These guys are responsible for me getting into Twitter while I watch the race. The on track journalists keep us informed. I've really come to enjoy that feed.
They're rolling out a few new things. They'll be interviewing Dale Jr at his Whisky River property complete with a wild west town and you'll get to see his car grave yard. He takes junk race cars and puts them in his woods along the 4 wheeling trails for something interesting to see while 4 wheeling. Montoya's car that took out the jet dryer at Daytona last year is there.
Another roll out will be 6 drivers and their crew at 6 different tracks will host a fan who will be given an all access pass. Denny Hamlin starts off the festivities at Pocono. Keselowski @ Michigan, Montoya @ Sonoma and Kurt B @ Kentucky are some of the drivers to expect. Good luck to the fan that gets chosen for each race.
All I know is that I need to make sure the laptop is in good working order or the TNT broadcast will drive me insane.
Paul Menard of the #27 Menard Chevy will be staying at Richard Childress racing for 3 more years. He signed his contract this week and is good to go. Guess it pays to have a daddy that loves you enough to be your sponsor. I guess it beats stocking shelves at daddy's store. He's come a long way in driving ability and I expect to see more improvements. How's 8th in the points standings right now for you? Good luck Paul.
SMITHFIELD SALE TO SHANGUI INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LTD PENDING
That would be Smithfield hams being sold to a very large Chinese company who is the majority share holder in China's largest meat processing enterprise. Smithfield owns Armour, Farmland and their namesake.
Under the agreement there will be no closures and all management teams will stay in tact. No word on how this will effect Aric Almirola's #43 team with Richard Petty Motorsports.
I know that ham hasn't been on my list of meats to eat for some 25 years now but I am making sure it gets erased from my memory now. Just the phrase, "Chinese meat processing enterprise" gives me the chills.
Johnsons Dover ride. Cute Monsters on the car. I want to see the movie....With my grandson of course.....
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY RECAP
Last weeks race was interesting. I thought Montoya's D 500 jet dryer extravaganza last year was bizarre. Things just keep happening. It would seem that the ropes that pull the camera down the front stretch broke. They're rated for 9000 lbs but broke. The Austrian company has come in to investigate. No word yet on why.
It sure did create havoc on the track. Fans were trying to get officials attention but couldn't so they started throwing drinks onto the track. Some even tried to pull the ropes over the fence and off the track. There was just too much of it. The first car to hit the rope was Kyle Busch. Yeah buddy. I picked him in my Yahoo and boy was I pissed. As the pack rolled through several more cars came in contact with the rope. Mark Martin, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart were a few.
NASCAR red flagged the race and made all cars stop on pit road. At first it was going to be a clean up and restart. Kyle got out of his car and went to his pits for his camera. Came back and took pictures. No work can be done during a red flag but a visual is allowed. After what seemed to be forever NASCAR made the announcement the there would be a 15 minute time limit for all repairs related to the caution incident. Johnson who was having voltage issues was told the team couldn't fix that because it wasn't part of the camera incident.
Kyle's car had the worst with the right front fender tore up and front splitter cracked. Ambrose had the rope wrapped around the back axle and it tore up his brakes. Believe it or not Kyle's team got his car repaired in time and every one was given their position at the time of the incident back. So Kyle retained the lead and Ambrose got his 15th back. Kudos to NASCAR.
So were off again on lap 131 with Kyle in the lead and the repairs were good enough to keep him there until green flag pit stops are over on lap 180. Kenseth takes the lead with Kyle 2nd. He drops back to 3rd and on lap 257 his motor goes poof. On lap 258 Dale Jr's motor goes poof. So that's 2 motors in 2 laps.
Caution #6 for debris in turn 1. Johnson changes battery (remember voltage issue?) as well as tires and fuels up. Oopsy. Pass thru penalty for forgetting a lugnut. Guess the new crew didn't perform as well as expected.
Gordon and Keselowski were on pit road when the caution came out. They only got 2 tires and tried to beat the pace car. They didn't but came back in for the other 2 tires. Both are minus 1 lap on restart.
Caution #8 sees The Danica and Keselowski go spinning. Both are done for the night. Stenhouse (Danica's BF) was making it 3 wide and he bumped Danica who bumped up into Keselowski. I'm sure there was some silence between them over the morning paper & coffee this week....
Caution #9 is a red flag affair. Not as fancy as the rope caution but it did involve Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Aric Almirola in a 3 wide situation that went wrong. Kurt Busch who is in the lead says his car is dead and he'll need a tow truck to push start him.
Red flag lifted and Kurt goes for a battery change. He's 22nd and Truex is afraid to restart behind Kahne. He doesn't always get a good restart and usually spins the tires.
But off we go till Caution #10 where we see Montoya run into Johnson's bumper. Around he goes. Kenseth gets damage. So does Menard.Stewart skates through with a slight bumper peeling.
Harvick takes the lead with Kahne in hot pursuit but no cookie for Kahne.
Top 15 finishers - Harvick - Kahne - Kurt B - Hamlin - Logano - Newman - Stewart - Bowyer - Truex - Ambrose - Edwards - Burton - Menard - Minus 1 lap Stenhouse - Kenseth
DOVER FED EX 400 PREVIEW
Denny Hamlin is on point for the 2nd week in a row. Says he has to be aggressive if he wants to be in the Chase. Making the top 20 isn't enough. He needs W's. Multiple W's to be exact. He's right. He's now in 24th in the points up 3 from last week. A top 20 is doable but the wins will be tough.
Fun facts for Dover : Mark Martin leads all active drivers with the most starts at Dover - 53, the most 2nd places w/8, the most poles w/5 and the most top 10's w/24.
Johnson has 7 W's. Gordon has 4 W's.
Edwards has an average finish of 8.294.....Johnson has a 8.636. These 2 are the only drivers with an average top 10 finish this low.
Johnson has led the most laps with 2318.
Janet Guthrie and The Danica are the only 2 females to race at Dover.
LAST YEARS TOP 10 FINISHERS - Johnson - Harvick - Kenseth - Dale Jr - Bowyer - Almirola - Truex - Logano - Kahne - Ambrose
FANTASY HELP - Johnson of course has the most laps led and an average finish of 8 point something. Pick him with confidence.
Edwards has an average of 8 point something. He's finished in the top 10 in his last 5 races. Momentum is a good thing.
Kahne is still a squirrel in my book. I can't believe he got the restart award last week for as much as he spun the tires. He gets a top 10.
Dale Jr should be back on his Steady Eddie track this week. Top 10.
Harvick is coming to life. Top 10. Team mate Menard too.
MWR cars Bowyer and Truex are good here. Top 5's.
Kenseth the stealth bomber is on a tear. W? Very possible.
Almirola is from an under dog team and he's got something for this track. I'm betting on a top 10.
Keselowski needs to awaken from his funk. His crew chief is back from suspension this week. I'm sure his team mate Logano will be in the top 10. He won the Nationwide race here last year.
Kyle won the truck race on Friday. Don't know about the Nationwide Saturday night but it's time for a KB win in the Cup Series. Lost an engine last week and last year at this event. Don't know about Mr M&M.
McMurray has been sneaking up on the front. Glimpses of a break out & brighter future on the horizon.
C listers to watch for. Bobby Labonte, David Ragan, Casey Mears, Ricky Stenhouse and The Danica.
Richard Childress grandson Austin Dillon will be in the #51 for Phoenix racing this week if you want to try him. He does well in the Nationwide Series but that doesn't always translate to Cup.
So there you have it. Hope everyone's Memorial Day weekend was safe and filled with grilling, trips to the hardware store to hang out in the man heaven aisle checking out the tools, friends & family and sports. It's what we do here at the Gab. Take care folks and....
I'm outta here.......