Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Give thanks for this great country and to those that made it possible to live in this great country. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. Been some crazy days for me. Lots of manditory OT, lots of rain and lots of hugs & kisses from my most handsome grandsons. I’ll take all those lots.
So what of the land of Left Turns?
HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
Voting took place this past week and the results are in.
MARK MARTIN – Was my favorite driver. Said to be the greatest driver to never win a championship. He finished 2nd 5 times in the championship hunt. He had 96 wins between Cup, Xfinity and IROC.
BENNY PARSONS – 1973 champion with 526 career starts. Had a 1975 Daytona 500 win. When he quit racing he transfered to the broadcasr booth for NBC and TNT until his death in 2007.
RAYMOND PARKS – Became a stockcar owner in 1938. Red Byron raced for him and got 2 titles.
RICK HENDRICK – Founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports. Has 11 championships as an owner. Terry Labonte has 1, Jeff Gordon has 4 and Jimmie Johnson has 6. All in all to this date he has 242 wins as an owner which ranks him 2nd.
RICHARD CHILDRESS – Started out as a driver but transitioned into an owner. Dale Earnhardt Sr being his high profile driver and winner of 6 championships.
Also voted in was H Clay Earles who recieved the Landmark Award For Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. He built Martinsville Speedway in 1947. NASCAR started racing there in 1949.
In 1964 Earle decided a new trophy was needed. He began giving away grandfather clocks to the winner. This is a tradition that still goes on today. It’s a big deal to get one.
SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY IS CANCER FREE
On Wednesday Shirley went under the knife to have a tumor removed. She got good news after that. It wasn’t cancerous. The 75 year old drag racing champion had a severely infected tumor removed along with the upper and lower lobe of the right lung as well as lymph nodes.
Shirley says she has much to do and she’s not going any where yet. This makes me happy. Shirley was my idol way back when. I thought it was so awesome that a woman was racing and winning. She won top fuel national championships in 1977, 1980 & 1982. That pink dragster was scary if you were in the other lane. Glad to hear she’ll be here for a bit longer.
MORE LOW DOWN FORCE PACKAGE CHANGES
Coming up for Kentucky and Michigan there will be more reductions for the spoiler. It will go from 3.5 inches to 2.5 inches. The splitter will be reduced by 2 inches. They’ll be resizing the rear deck fin to go with the lowered spoiler.
Other changes will be for teams to remove electric fans that generate down force and to reset the rear toe alignment to zero to reduce side force.
All this in an effort to make racing more exciting by creating more opportunities to pass. Sounds like really slippery ice skating at 200 mph on a race track. Glad they aren’t doing this for the Coca Cola 600 today. That would be one very long race if you couldn’t get dialed in.
ALL STAR RACE RECAP
I did not watch this race as I can’t stand all the gimmicks and the stop & start & reset & well the gimmicks. It consists of 3 segments. Segments 1 & 2 are 50 laps long. The 3rd is 13 laps. There are manditory pit stops called and field inversions and well gimmicks. Just lots of lets try to get the millennials interested. Fat chance they can get them to look up from their smart phones long enough to watch a lap. Even with all the huge flat screens being installed at most tracks or the added WiFi. NASCAR is trying to get the millennials to become fans. They’re also trying for the Spanish population. So it’s gimmick time.
Segment #1 winner was Edwards. Segment #2 winner was Larson and the All Star winner of the $1 million, ring and huge cardboard check was Logano.
COCA COLA 500 PREVIEW
You could watch 3 races today. F1 is in Monaco then it’s the Indy 500 @ 12pm and then the Coca Cola 600 @ 6pm. (All EST) Now THAT’S dedication if you can watch all that. There are no doubles this year unless you want to count Mark Martin and Roger Penske. Mark Martin will be driving the pace car for the CC 600 and he’ll be hanging at Indy for some of the racing there. Roger is celebrating 50 years in motor sports this year. He’ll be driving the pace car for the Indy 500 and then off to the CC 600 to watch his teams there. But there are no drivers attempting to drive in both races.
Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5 quad oval. We’ll be running at night. That is if tropical storm Bonnie doesn’t move in and ruin it. There’s a 50% chance that she will. I’m really not into sitting through any more rain delay races that stretch into 1pm or later.
Since this is such a long race motor issues come into play. There were 3 engine failures last year. Hamlin had a blown header that leaked exhaust fumes into the car and he got sick and had a head ache. Johnson wrecked, Truex led the most laps at 131 but didn’t win and it was Ky Bu’s 1st race back after his wreck at Daytona.
The top 10 last year consisted of 7 that started in the top 10 AND 2 that were in 11 thru 15th. So it’s safe to say that starting in the Top 15, track position and the ability of the crew chief to make changes as the race transitions from late afternoon to night is key to winning this race.
Fast forward to this year and Hamlin won the Xfinity race Saturday. The fastest cars in last practice were Truex, Ku Bu, Johnson, Logano & Biffle. NASCAR penalized Dale Jr, Johnson & Almirola for their 4th inspection failure by making them pick their pit stalls last.
HARVICK – He’s been struggling but some how gets that Top 10. So I’m expecting a Bloomin’ Onion on Monday. Top 10
TRUEX – Pole for today and fastest in last practice. Led 131 laps last year and 5th. Expect the same. Top 10
LARSON – This guy is pounding on the door of his first win. I’m expecting a Top 10
JOHNSON – Not sure what’s up with 6 time but he’s been under performing. I even dropped him in my fantasy leagues. Top 10? I’ll let you decide.
KU BU – Quietly consistent & focused this year. Top 10
BIFFLE – Roush has found something maybe? Biffle qualified 6th. He had a 2nd last year. I’ll give him a Top 10 this year.
ELLIOTT – This rookie is something to watch. He starts 12th today but I think he’ll be in the Top 10.
EDWARDS – Last years winner. Repeat? Maybe not but Top 10.
KESELOWSKI – Starts 5th. Top 10
HAMLIN – Won the Xfinity race Saturday and starts 4th today. Should he? Yup. Will he? Consult your local psychic.
So that’s would be that. Sorry for my absence but work and grandkids have been taking up my time. I do plan to catch up on my online life soon. Please stand by.
And I’m outta here =^!^=