Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. Earth Day was Friday. I hope everyone picked up a piece of trash or recycled something. Those guys in that picture want to be celebrating more jokes and more Earth Days.
You don’t have to be rich to rule my world….I just want your extra time and your…(cool guitar riff)…kiss. Prince is still rolling around in my head.
BUT what of the land of Left Turns?
BACK TO RACING – GRANTED A WAIVER – FINED – ALL IN A WEEK!!!!!
Tony Stewart is large and in charge. He’s back on track in his firesuit and ready to roll off the starting line in 18th after getting medical clearance from his doctors. NASCAR has even granted him a waiver so that he can qualify for the Chase. He just has to be in the Top 30 in points and try to qualify for every race from here on.
AND THEN Stewart got a fine. During an interview he was asked about the lugnut situation going on during pit stops. In Stewart fashion he gave an honest in your face answer. That’s how he rolls and his fans wouldn’t want it any other way. He called NASCAR out on safety. Saying that since Earnhardt passed away there haven’t been any deaths due to all the safety innovations. He can’t believe NASCAR is allowing teams to put only 3 or 4 lugnuts on the tires and then letting them go out on the track that way. He’s mad and says that the rant that happens after the big accident that hurts a driver will be worse than the one he’s having now.
Brian France’s response,”Nobody has led, done more and achieved more in safety than we have. It’s a never ending assignment and we accept that. We do take offense that anything we do is some how leading toward an unsafe environment, so (Stewart is) wrong on that.”
Then he handed a $35,000 fine to Stewart for disparaging remarks.
How do the other drivers feel? Well, Harvick, Keselowski, Johnson, Hamlin, Dale Jr & Ky Bu are all chipping in to pay his fine because they feel that Stewart is right and has that right to speak up about safety.
Dale Jr says it freaks him out knowing he doesn’t have all his lugnuts. Hamlin says that Stewart has been in this sport a long time and brings a lot of knowledge with him. Biffle says this is a ticking time bomb.
Last year was the first time that NASCAR said they’d let the teams police themselves when it came to how many lugnuts to tighten. With the understanding that if they wrecked because of losing a wheel that they’d be punished. What? Crashing your car isn’t punishment enough?
In the last 3 races the cameras have been doing close ups of sets of tires on pit road with only 4 lugnuts glued on. Teams glue the lugnuts on so that all the tire changer has to do is tighten them when the wheel is put on. The guys in the broadcast both have been talking about this at length.
As a fan, I don’t like this. NASCAR posts every week the teams that failed laser or template inspection 1 too many times and they’re handing out punishments for that on a regular basis. So you’re telling me you’re not worried about whether or not a tire has 5 lugnuts that could fly off the car at 200 mph? You’re more worried about how many times a team brings their car through tech inspection than keeping tires on the car? Stewart brought up a legitimate safety concern.
So yeah, teams should do the right thing and put 5 lugnuts on. After all, safety begins with them. But then again this is a competition. Every team will skim and skip corners to get to the finish line first. It’s the nature of the business. It’s what they do. So it’s up to NASCAR to re-instate pit road officials to police it and it’s up to the teams to conform. NASCAR made an announcement that they’d be looking into it. There have been a lot of issues with loose wheels this year.
Well, any way, welcome back Tony Stewart.
So Mr Edwards had the pole. He led 276 of the laps too. Of course it ended with him doing his signature victory back flip off the drivers door.
During the first lap Dale Jr loses power. After a trip to pit road he comes out 2 laps down. He later tweeted that he had an issue with something that helps a driver if his throttle were to get stuck. He found out it works.
Lap 52 Ky Bu scrapes the wall hard. Dale Jr takes the wave around to get a lap back during the caution. Kenseth comes out first.
Lap 109 Logano pits for a tire issue and ends up getting a pass thru penalty for an uncontrolled tire.
Lap 116 Ky Bu spins out. Caution. Dale Jr takes the wave around again to now be on the lead lap. Kenseth keeps the lead.
Lap 187 Kenseth scrapes the wall hard. Caution. Ky Bu speeding on pit road. Menard comes off pit road first but Edwards takes the lead on the restart.
Lap 260 Ky Bu hits the wall for the 3rd time and is now done for the day. Edwards is first off pit road. Cassill, Ty, Biffle & Danica did not pit. Cassill leads the restart. He keeps the lead for 8 laps till Edwards takes it back.
Edwards stays in the lead for the rest of the race. Johnson has to fight back from pit road penalties. He ends up minus 1 lap in 23rd. There were 15 cautions. Lots of beatin’ & bangin’ at the ending laps. Ty Dillon was driving Stewarts #14 and would’ve had a great day but turned into a pinball in the last 50 laps. Almirola was invited for a meeting with NASCAR after the race because he refused to get out of his wrecked car. He thought they should push him to pit road and the officials wanted him out of his car.
Top 15 Finishers – Edwards – Dale Jr – Ku Bu – Elliott – Bayne – DiBenedetto – Harvick – Bowyer – Newman – Logano – Blaney – Biffle – McMurray – Truex – Menard
This is a 3 quarter mile D shaped oval track. Qualifying got rained out. So they went to the last practice and set the field from those times. Your top 5 were Harvick – Logano – Johnson – Edwards – Hamlin.
HARVICK – Been struggling but I have faith. He’s got the pole. Top 10
EDWARDS – Solid runs in the last few weeks. Top 10
KU BU – Last spring race winner. Starts 7th. Top 10
KY BU – Ugliness last week. Really ugly. This week should be a Top 10
HAMLIN – Hometown track and one he’s good at but consult your local psychic.
JOHNSON – Always a threat but not so much the last 2 races. Pit penalties and loose wheels are detrimental to a championship. Still…..Top 10
DALE JR – Been fighting back from laps down 2 races in a row. Top 10
NEWMAN – This is his kind of track. Can he follow up last weeks 9th place? Sure. Top 10
ELLIOTT – The rookie to watch. Fought to get into the top 10 at Bristol. Top 10
LOGANO – Top 10
NASCAR.com has Ky Bu – Dillon – Elliott – Blaney – Allmendinger for their perfect line up this week. Adds up to $99.50.
Cassill – $8.50 – His pit crew is a development crew that trains with Stewart Haas Racing. Got him the lead for 8 laps. Worth a look see. Top 20
DiBenedetto – $6.25 – Drove his butt off last week to a 6th place finish. Worth a chance. Top 25.
Dillon – $21 – Top 15
Blaney – $17 – Top 15
Allmendinger – $14.25 – Awesome bargain. Top 15
Hope everyone had a sunny Earth Day. Enjoy your Sunday sports.
And I’m outta here….=^!^=