At it again. Yep. We’re racing. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR Updates & Other Fast Stuff. How’s it going folks? Hot enough for ya? The grandkids have been making me go outside. They love it and don’t seem to mind the heat as much as me. We missed The Buck tractor pulls due to rain. Would’ve been a really cool Saturday night show. They’ll be back though.
So what do we got going on in the land of Left Turns?
DALE JR STILL OUT
Doctors are keeping Dale Jr out another week. He says his doctor is preaching patience. The balance and nausea issues have hit a plateau this week but he’s still not feeling well enough to get in the car.
Jeff Gordon says he’ll be there as long as needed. He thought Alex Bowman did a nice job subbing the first week that Dale Jr was off. He understands why Hendrick has asked him to stay in though. Sponsors want proven talent and Hendrick wants those owners points. So Jeff needs to keep finishing as high as he can.
TESTING AT THE GLEN
This past week 16 teams were aloud to send 1 driver to Watkins Glen for testing the newly repaved road course. The challenges were reworked curbing, a fast track and a harder tire compound with less grip and a whole lot of slip. Goodyear was going for durability instead of grip.
During the test Casey Mears put in the fastest lap. Chase Elliott broke his axle and Clint Bowyer drove over the broken part.
And Brad Keselowski was making his 19th lap on the day when his back brakes failed and he went straight into the wall in turn #1. I watched this video from Keselowski’s dash cam on Twitter and it was scary. He did get right out of the car just fine and checked out of the infield care center just fine.
Back in 2011 he crashed at Road Atlanta and broke his ankle. Keselowski thinks that road courses are more dangerous that Daytona or Talladega because of the sharp turns that lead you straight into a wall if your brakes fail or something breaks on the car. He estimates he was going about 80 mph when he hit the wall on Tuesday at The Glen.
Of course the keyboard warriors were calling him chicken, a big cry baby and that maybe he should find another job. That’s not how it sounded to me. He was telling it like it is. He’s the one driving the car for a living.
SAFETY CHANGES COMING IN 2017
In 2015 Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon wrecked severely at Daytona. Kyle at the 1st Xfinity race of the season which kept him out till May. He suffered a broken foot and leg. Dillon wrecked at the July race but was ok.
NASCAR’s initiative on this safety innovation is the drivers feet and legs. The changes are to strengthen the floor boards, drivers anti intrusion plate, firewall and footbox area.
These changes are optional for this season. They will be manditory for the 2017 Daytona and Talladega races and then all tracks in 2018. NASCAR is doing this gradually so that teams won’t be scrapping their whole fleet of cars right away. This way teams have time to build them to spec with the plate track cars first on the list.
TOP DRIVERS IN MERCH SALES SO FAR IN 2016
Surprise…no not really. Dale Jr is #1 in merchandise sales. Like you couldn’t guess that. Mr Johnson comes in 2nd with Ky Bu as 3rd. Danica is 7th place in sales. I can’t believe it but Jeff Gordon is not even on this list. His replacement Chase Elliott is though. He’s in 4th place.
KURT BUSCH LOOKING FOR A RECORD
Nobody has ever gone the whole regular season of 21 races finishing every lap. Ku Bu has done this so far this year. He goes into Pocono’s race having finished all 5673 laps ran this season. Good luck Kurt
Ky Bu got the pole and W at the Xfinity race on Saturday and then he got the pole and the W at the Cup race on Sunday. That would be a sweep and a record for Ky Bu to treasure. He kissed the bricks on the start finish line with his crew and wife 2 days in a row. Brexton wasn’t having any of that tradition. He was more interested in the Skittles that were strewn all over the ground. I personally would love to have one of those purple pillows they alway have on the ground.
So like I said, Ky Bu had the pole to start the race. And he led 149 laps. Keselowski managed to lead 15 in the early going. He and his crew chief Paul Wolf were working on a pit strategy that would get them out of sequence with everyone else but it didn’t work that day.
With 11 to go there was a……debris caution. Everyone pitted except Ky Bu – Truex – Kenseth – Edwards & Logano. There were 2 more starts and cautions that followed right away due to drivers wrecking. At this track they go into single file quickly and they know this so there was pushing, shoving and punting going on. Right into over time.
We had 2 Green White Checkers to deal with. On the first one Logano stuck his car right up against Ky Bu’s and almost got him loose enough to pass but there was a wreck and it was onto GWC #2.
On the restart Ky Bu dipped down low to get away from Logano and it worked. Off he went and into victory lane.
Top 15 finishers – Ky Bu – Kenseth – Johnson – Hamlin – Larson – Harvick – Logano – Truex – Dillon – Menard – Stewart – Stenhouse – Gordon – Buescher – Elliott
POCONO “TRICKY TRIANGLE” PREVIEW
Furniture Row on the pole. But first Truex has diecast cars to sign. Lots of them. He says this car feels right. It’s the same one he dominated Charlotte with. If God willing, the levee don’t flood and a piano doesn’t fall on his car during the race, he just might win.
It is said that because each turn is so different here that the crew chiefs treat it like a road course. They count backwards for when they want to pit. So this could turn into a fuel mileage affair. Look for Keselowski and Wolf to work on an out of the box strategy like that.
You can set it up pretty well for 2 corners but you can’t get all 3 dialed in. So a driver has to pick the 2 turns he likes best and then work through the 3rd one best he can.
Last years race was won on fuel mileage. Danica actually led the race for 5 laps. Logano led with 5 to go but had to go in for a splash & go. Then Truex. Then Ky Bu but he ran out before he got to pit road and ended up 21st minus 1 lap. Kenseth was told early on to just let everyone up front pass him and slow down which he did and won the race. Repeat? Maybe.
TRUEX – Has pole and he brought his Charlotte car. At least a Top 10
HARVICK – Lost a motor last year. Starts 19th but I’m not worried. I’m betting on free Bloomin’ Onions on Monday. Top 10
KU BU – Won the June race here. Remember, he’s trying for the record of running every lap in all 21 races before the Chase. Top 10.
KESELOWSKI – Starts 7th. Top 10
LOGANO – Top 10
EDWARDS – Top 10
KENSETH – Last years fuel mileage winner. Top 10
STEWART – Starts 6th. Top 10
NEWMAN – Starts 5th. Man on a mission trying to keep his job. Top 10
LARSON – Dark horse pick for a Top 10
So that’s it for this week. If you’re looking for a cool video to watch, look up Roadkill Eps. #52… The return of Stubbie Bob. A 1950’s truck does a wheelie. Cooler than you’re favorite Ben & Jerry’s. Just saw Netflix has picked up this series. At least the first season. Worth the watch. Hope all is well with everyone. Be safe. Stay cool.
And I’m outta here…..=^!^=