There is only ONE Oklahoma

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Late Dega Fodder

Hot hot hot!!!
This may have been the hottest fall Dega race on record. Don’t think I have ever been so hot at a track in my life. It seems that pushing up the race date over the past few years have contributed to an unseasonably hot fall day.

Flood of Open Wheelers?
This maybe the single most positive influence to Nascar since the Network TeVee deal a few years ago. But frankly this is nothing new and has been going on for four decades. I know that 19 fans (my self included) were not too happy with the lack of braking Jacques Villeneuve seemed to have in the turn 3 ‘big one’, but to be honest, he was not the only one who had this ‘issue’. Chase or no chase, these drivers have every right to drive if an owner sees fit. Some 19 fans feel that a driver should not be allowed in CUP without a minimum number of Busch/Truck/ARCA starts. But frankly, those starts prove little, and there have been other open wheel drivers make their first 10 CUP starts that included Daytona. (See John Andretti) AJ Foyt never ran a Busch race in his Nascar Career; while Boris Said was only a ‘road course ringer’, until making the FINAL Chase race at Homestead in 2004. The bottom line is: For YEARS, new drivers have been entered into the last few races of the year, to give them a head start for the following season. Yes, some of them have impacted the championship. And some of them have not. That happens across ALL of the series. Brendan Gaughan was running for the Championship in trucks a few years ago, and got taken out by a 1st time driver. He finished 4th in the series. That’s racin.

SPOTTERMAN: the great, the bad, the ugly
The great:
First off, the 19 spotter was not just GOOD, on Sunday, he was GREAT. Even though the 19 received some damaged on the ‘big one’, Spotterman conveyed adamantly just how severe the wreck in front of the 19 was, and helped steer the 19 though without any major damage, it could have been really ugly. But what really sets Spotterman apart from others is his ability to see the other cars and how they are running on the track. It was mid way through the race and the 19 was running in the top 10 but would not get out of line. Near the back of the lead draft there was a run being made on the low line by in spotterman’s own words ‘There are some pretty good cars making a push on the low side. (hint hint hint!) Sadler took hied to those words, and as that run of cars approached the 19 car, he promptly moved in front of them, which allowed them to push the 19 car to the lead. It was a brilliant plate track move and great communication from Spotterman. You are still the best in the business on the spotter stand Brett.

The bad:
I don’t think Spotterman was impressed with the C.O.T.’s performance, especially with his comment of ‘the WHOLE field is running single file’. While he was correct, in that 40% of the race was a snoozer. I am not sure it was the fault of the car, but the fault the drivers. As seen early in the race, and especially the final 15 laps of the race, the 24 and 48 showed that the lower line was a very fast way around the track and a way to move through the field. What I saw was that very few drivers would be willing to team up and make some moves until the 29 car got a few others to do it from the rear of the field. It reminded me of both twin 125’s at Daytona in 2000 where no drivers would get out of line. But with the same aero package the Daytona 500 run just 3 days later offered 2 and 3 wide racing most the race. If the drivers choose not to mix it up, and my not be solely the C.O.T.’s fault. While the C.O.T.’s aero package be tweaked before the 2008 speedweeks, probably, but it may not be needed.

The ugly:
While I am obviously biased in my fandom for College Football. For the life of me, I cannot understand the lack of respect for Spotterman alum’s South Carolina Gamecock football team in the latest polls. I’ll use my beloved Sooners in this example. Both USC and OU each share 5-1 records, but most polls have OU ranked around #5 and USC between #9 and #12. One may not think this is a big deal, but how can the voters ‘penalize’ South Carolina for losing a close game to the NUMBER ONE ranked team in the nation on the road while OU loses to unranked Colorado. So far in this young season, there is no doubt in my mind, that South Carolina should be ranked in at the very least in the top 6 or 7 spots in the country, and should be ranked ahead of OU. The AP poll almost got this right this week, but still ranked OU #6 and USC #7. Those two should be flip flopped at least until next week’s games are played.

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