Got my Bob Dylan Bootleg Series cued up on the iPod. For the times they are a changin’. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. Funny but that song really rings true in todays times as it did in yesteryears.
NASCAR is a changin’ for sure. Frustratingly so. More rule changes, manufacture changes, car package changes and driver changes. Where does it stop? At this point my head is spinning. As George Jetson used to yell, “JANE!! STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!!” I wish she’d get on over to NASCAR HQ and stop that crazy thing. It’s a run away train of new stuff replacing the old stuff. Am I too old for this new stuff?
In theory some of it sounds nice but it doesn’t belong in my NASCAR. Not the NASCAR of the old guard that actually likes to watch racing. Untouched natural organic racing. Not this phantom caution shrunken field chartered racing. What is that? Where will it lead? What will the unintended consequences be? I guess we have to ride along or tune in to see.
So what of the land of Left Turns?
MORE CHARTER TID BITS
This Charter thing is new and of course all the info details are slowly coming out and I don’t understand a lot of it yet. So now in the Cup Series no more announcing of the race winnings. You won’t know what driver won what amount. NASCAR says it’s not contemporary. Besides that drivers have new contracts that reflect the new way of doing things.
With the Charters in place NASCAR has set aside guaranteed revenues for the Chartered teams based on entering each race and their performances in the last 3 years. They will also compete for a points fund. There’s sharing of the tv money too. Not sure about the rest of it yet. The explanation isn’t sinking into my brain enough yet to be able to explain it.
So this week we are seeing the result of this Charter thing. NASCAR cut the field of cars to 40. There will only be 39 cars racing. I’m not sure what’s left of the purse money after Charters get theirs but it looks like for a low budget team, it’s not worth it enough to drag the car to every track and try any more. Will the low budget teams disappear completely?
I personally hope not. NASCAR was founded on race what you brung. Race on Sunday, buy on Monday. Work on it in your driveway, put it on a trailer, unload at the track and race it. Simple. But now rules have come to weigh that simple philosophy down. After all, we have A.D.D. smart phone packing young kids to entertain now. It looks as though a new NASCAR era has begun.
SHR TO CHANGE MANUFACTURERS IN 2017
You heard that correctly. Stewart Haas Racing is leaving Chevy to drive Fords next year. Who would leave Hendrick powered equipment? HMS has 11 champions. SHR has won 2 championships with that equipment. Last year Harvick led 4431 laps – had 8 W’s – had 19 2nd places – and ended up 2nd in the points. How do you leave that kind of success with that kind of equipment behind?
I read all the politically correct BS coming from all involved and I guess it comes down to the business side of things. I’m thinking Ford is giving them more money to come over to their side.
OR could it be that with NASCAR messing with car package set ups that the new low down force package will favor Ford and Toyota over Chevy? John Force won all his championships in a Ford. John does stage & stomp in a Funny Car. Short distances favor a Ford over a Chevy most times. Long distances like in NASCAR ovals you need power and that’s where Chevy shines.
In the Darlington & Kentucky races where the low down force package was introduced last year a Toyota won both times. JGR took 1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th at Kentucky. Ford took 2nd & 6th. At Darlington JGR took 1st & 3rd. Ford took 2nd & 4th even though Keselowski’s Ford led a race high 196 laps. Doesn’t look good for Chevy. What’s horse power worth if your car isn’t hooking up and getting traction?
Changes. More changes. I hear Ozzy crying about going through changes.
DAYTONA 500 RECAP
What a snoozefest it was. TOO many commercials. Just as you’re getting into it they go to a commercial break. Jeff Gordon did a nice job just like I thought he would. Very professional. At one point during the race Tony Stewart called in and they were discussing the race. Very strange to hear that conversation going on. So nice of Stewart to support Gordon in the booth. I hope he does it again before he gets back in the car.
Gordon’s replacement Chase Elliott had the #24 on the pole for the start of the race. He had the lead for 3 laps till Dale Jr took the lead. And on lap 19 Chase became the 1st caution when he spun out and into the grass tearing up his front end. He’d return 40 laps later.
So after the caution Mr Hamlin takes over the lead. There are many complaints of the cross winds and ill handling cars. Logano says worst handling car ever. Harvick says he has a vibration. Almirola says same thing for him. Dale Jr says the warmer weather is effecting his car.
Lap 57 Vickers spins out after running into the back of Logano. Edwards involved too. Johnson takes 2 tires during pit stops and comes out 1st. He keeps the lead till lap 78. Ky Bu to the lead as Johnson drops like a rock. Two tires must’ve been a bad call.
Hamlin is back in the lead on lap 100. Things get strung out into single file racing for the first 10 cars.
With 45 to go Johnson does a green flag pit stop and is penalized. Crew over the wall too soon. Mears & Scott too fast on pit road. Danica’s crew is over the wall too soon. Kenseth now leads. AND THEN Dale Jr hits the wall at lap 170. Amelia is done for the day.
With 25 to go it’s restart time and Kenseth leads them to the green. And then Ms Danica goes for a spin after contact with Biffle. To the garage she goes.
Kenseth leads them to the green again and keeps the lead till with 3 to go it’s Kenseth – Truex – Ky Bu – Hamlin and Edwards all cozy and riding to a Toyota top 5 but Harvick says NOPE. He sticks his nose out and starts making his way up the top lane till Hamlin pulls out in front of him to block. Harvick has a head of steam going on and hits Hamlin so hard he catapults up to Kenseth who panics and leaves the bottom lane. Hamlin passes Kenseth and now it’s a side by side race with Truex for the win. They bump and Hamlin pulls away from Truex’s side draft to get the win by about 3 inches or so at the line.
Top 15 Finishers – Hamlin – Truex – Ly Bu – Harvick – Edwards – Logano – Larson – Smith – A Dillon – Ku Bu – Newman – Almirola – Kahne – Kenseth – McDowell
ATLANTA FOLDS OF HONOR QUIK TRIP 500 PREVIEW
We’re in Atlanta with great weather this week. Ky Bu had the best qualifying lap but was sent to the back when his rear toe was found to not be in compliance. So brother Kurt took the pole. On lap 13 everyone will hold up their mini folded flag in honor of fallen military members. The 13th lap was chosen for the 13 folds in the flag that is handed to the families of the fallen service members.
It’s a low down force package this weekend with Goodyear tires that will be falling off faster (increased wear) in order to create more passing opportunities and pit stops. That’s the plan any way.
LOW DOWNFORCE PACKAGE
SPOILER – 2015 6” tall——> 2016 3.5” tall – Air that comes over top the car hits the spoiler and pushes the rear of the car down on the track. A shorter spoiler creates a squirrel to drive and puts the emphasis on driver talent to drive it.
SPLITTER – 2015 2” hang over——> 2016 .25” hang over. The splitter splits the air and forces the air to accelerate under the car. It creates a high pressure zone above the splitter and a low pressure zone below the splitter that sucks the car down onto the track. So there will be less sucking to the track with this change.
RADIATOR PAN – 2015 38” wide——> 2016 33” wide – The narrower pan deflects less air which slows airflow and creates less down force.
So that’s the down force package the best I can explain it. Squirrelly car with tires that will wear out faster = show casing driver talent or lots of wrecks.
KY BU – Won the Xfinity race Saturday. Should’ve had the pole today but tech inspection said no. He’ll find his way to the front. Top 10
HAMLIN – Fastest in last practice. Qualified 12th. Consult your local psychic.
HARVICK – Bulldog determination. Starts 6th today. No reason to think he won’t handle the new package. Top 10
TRUEX – The move to Toyota didn’t stop his momentum one bit. Starts 9th today. Top 10.
KU BU – Pole today. Top 10 too.
EDWARDS – Starts 7th. Hangin’ tough. Top 10
KENSETH – He was denied last weekend. Should’ve stayed on the bottom and ignored Hamlin. Bet he’d have his D 500 trophy if he had. Top 10
KESELOWSKI – This package favors his driving style Top 10
NEWMAN – Another bulldog. Starts 4th. Top 10
JOHNSON – Always a threat not to be taken lightly. Top 10
This week Ty Dillon is in Tony Stewart’s car. Stewart even visited the track and was seen talking with Ty in the garage area. I’m very interested to see how he does.
So that’s my Top 10 and my growling about the changes in my sport. My head is still spinning too. Saw Justin Tucker got the franchise tag. Is that good or bad for a kicker to get that? He sure does deserve a hefty contract because he carries the Raven’s (IMHO any way).
I hope all have a fabulous weekend.
And I’m outta here…..=^!^=