There is only ONE Oklahoma

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Good Job 19…..Good Job"

Brett Griffin (aka Spotterman) doesn’t really like it when fans can listen to scanner chatter during races via Trackpss and such because he thinks that not everything said should be for the general public. That may or may not be correct, but having total access is something that sets Nascar apart from most other sports. So after the health issues Elliott Sadler was having last week, there was of course a more heightened sense of awareness and curiosity for listening to the 19 scanner at Martinsville.

Nascar.com’s Raygan Swan had a nice ‘fluffer’ piece about Sadler’s effort yesterday but she really didn’t do it justice. For one, she made this comment after Sadler had summarized how he felt during the race and that he had taken Tylenol to help with his pain:

“What? No Goody's on hand? Nice sponsor plug, Sadler. Even in pain you're thinking of your backers.”

Raygan, you are taking to Elliott Sadler, not Richard Petty. Sadler is a member of ‘Team Tylenol’, how can you forget about ‘Rabbit release gels’ or this spot from last season?

Team Tylenol presents “The Pain of Bristol” with Elliott Sadler
"Wherin you’re a’ Bristow
Theyuh’s jus’ no breyuhk, no reyuhst
Sow yew jus’ reyuhlly on tawp o’d wheeyuhl th’ whowuhl’ tiime an’
Th’ g-fowuhses awe definadlty pullin’ a lodda loawuhd own yer showuhlduhs
So yew hayuhve a lodda ayches an’ payuhns when tha’ rayuhs is ovuh’wit.
Annc’r: Rapid Release Gels from Team Tyelnol! Think Fast!
Annc’r Tag (very fast read): Use only as directed!"

Look for a spring Martinsville ’08 version on your TeVee in the near future. My only question is, did Sadler check the expiration date of those Tylenol’s?

Once again, I have gone a bit of topic.

While listening to the scanner, all day there was a sense of ‘team’ and unity. I made the comment to a friend that “I don’t know what kind of ‘happy pills’ the 19 team took today, but everyone sounds so upbeat”. I haven’t heard this type of optimism, resolve and positive attitude since the 2004 season. It was refreshing to say the least.

Maybe it was having a substitute driver (one that had won the CTS race the day before) waiting with fire suit on and ready to jump in the car at any time and if that driver did well, what would be the result of the speculation. Just what would have been the talk today, had Setzer garnered a top 15 finish? But the simple fact is, that we will never know because Sadler was able to overcome adversity both on and off the track and bring home one of his best finishes in his career at a track that should be considered not one of his strong suits.

But it just didn’t end with the driver. Brett Griffin (aka spotterman), while he may think he didn’t have the best spotting effort, he was key in keeping the 19 relatively clean. But maybe more importantly, he was a ‘rock’of encouragement. For those playing the ‘Elliott Sadler drinking game’, the consumption opportunities came more from the plethora of ‘attababys’ and not from ‘this caw not likin this set of tars’. Crew Chief Rodney Childers sounded upbeat as well, and while the car wasn’t the best or where the driver wanted it, there were improvements made throughout the race.

After the race on the cool down lap, there was a ‘mystery voice’ comment made over the scanner that pretty much summed up this race weekend. “Good job 19………good job”. Chances are that mystery voice was Mark McArdle. If you remember back in January when GEM was going through some key personnel changes when Ray Evernham was scaling back his race weekend duties, Mark McArdle took over all the ‘competition responsibilities’. Some closer to GEM than I am feel that if GEM is to truly turn their ship around, McArdle may play a key role in it.

While I am not afraid to voice my opinions of “my driver’s” off track antics and PR decisions, I’ll be happy to eat some crow when he steps up to the plate like he did yesterday. After all, crow is not so bad, as long as you cook it right!!!!!

Good job 19……..good job

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Elliott Sadler 'backs out'

Yesterday, the Sadler camp was in full damage control mode, and for good reason. When word that Sadler had somehow injured has back during a mid week workout the speculation began.

ESPN was quick to jump on the 'reporting' wagon and reported that Sadler's injury occurred on Wednesday morning an that Sadler had also despite this injury decided to play a round of golf that afternoon and then planed attend the UNC basketball game in Charlotte on Thursday night. Jumping the gun would be an understatement!

From the statements on ElliottSadler.com, yes, Sadler did indeed sustain this injury on Wednesday, but to be honest, back injuries are a very unique thing. Ask anyone who has 'thrown their back out', just when the injury occurred and how, and what their activities were 12 to 24 hours after the initial injury, and many times they will tell you that while there was some minor discomfort, and it didn't seem to be bad.

So it is probably true the Sadler did indeed have a nice round of golf Wednesday afternoon and its probably a safe bet he didn't experience much discomfort. However, by early Thursday morning I'm guessing Sadler knew there was a problem.

Looking at the flight plans filed and take off and landing times from Sadler's private jet on Thursday, there was no intention of going to Charlotte for the UNC game Thursday night. From Statesville (Sadler's jet is based there)to Emporia, and a few hours later to Blue Ridge (near Martinsville) Sadler appears to have one thing in mind, and that was to get healthy enough to race on Sunday.

Like I said, back injuries are a very unique thing, and different for everyone and frankly, different from other types of injuries. Curt Shilling in the 2004 American League Championship Series became a hero to some when he pitched with a bloody, stitched up right ankle that had been operated on just days before. But for a NASCAR driver, and an injury like Sadler's, simply taping up and deadening the injury with medication is not an option.

Sadler most likely can't receive any muscle relaxers or even most pain killers and expect to drive. I am sure NASCAR frowns on such things. It is uncomfortable enough to be strapped into a race car for hours even when healthy.

Bottom line, back injuries stink, and I don't envy what Sadler is going through. Especially when something like this happens in what appears to be just an 'everyday' routine.

Hopefully this injury too shall pass.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Cat in the Tin Foiled Hat -- speaks out

You have to give Jack some credit for speaking out on what should now be called 'part gate'. The never ending saga between Jack Roush and his arch nemesis , Toyota.

Here are a few of the volleys thrown out by Jack according to this article.

"A theft did occur"

"It's lawyer time"

"The other team, a non-descript Toyota team, went behind the toolbox and took my bar and put it with their bars and took it home. That is a fact."

While there still seems to be a few holes in Jack's story it will be interesting to see how all this plays out. But like in 'oil lid gate', I am still not sure that intent can be proven.

There is a bit of irony in Jack's story; Remember Jack being very vocal about Toyota coming in with 'big money' and hiring away current race team personnel? Now it seems that in order to verify Jack's suspicions, he needed the aid of a former Toyota employee, now working for Roush racing!

One thing is for sure, this story probably won't just go away now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Cat in the Tin Foiled Hat!

A little over a week ago, Elliott Sadler attempted to throw some grenades at the 99 team and Roush Racing in general for ‘oil lid gate’. The problem was that he would not actually lay his cards on the table and give his ‘reasoning’ for his accusations and I pointed that out in this blog. While I defended Roush as far as there has been no evidence sited there was a premeditated attempt to violate Nascar rules, it seems that Jack has once again fallen into the bluff or posturing trap without presented the evidence.

Earlier this week, Roush threw another volley where he claimed that an "un-named Toyota team had acquired a proprietary part". Now first off this actually might be true, but I do have some problems with the way Jack is presenting and handling this situation. It is more ‘WWF’ (Where is Hermie Sadler when you need him?) and grandstanding then trying to go through proper channels and get this taken care of. Maybe Jack should challenge Lee White to a no holds bared cage match, and Hermie could promote it!!! Think of the possibilities. But I digress.

Jack has a history of claiming foul only to be thwarted and his accusations being shot down. How many times in the late 90s did he claim that the 24 team was tampering with the tires late in races? Jack also seems to have a personal problem with Toyota and has made every attempt to rally support even going so far as to invoke ‘Nationalism’ and Pearl Harbor. We are talking about a person who once paid an employee of his in Japanese Yen because that employee drove a Datsun to work everyday.

The timing of all of this just seems a bit strange to me. Why did Jack wait almost three weeks to mention this? That answer is quite obvious though because he had other damage control to take care of with ‘oil lid gate’. Even though he once again still tried to deflect the attention back at Toyota with another ‘un-named’ claim that "other Toyota teams were guilty of Michael Waltrip’s ‘Jet Fuel gate’ and they too should have been punished".

Why not name either those teams, or even this part stealing team now? That answer is simple, Jack and his organization might be thrown into a tailspin of a lawsuit. Jack if you really do have the evidence you say you do, go all in and force the hand of Toyota, until you do, this is just another example of your paranoia of Tokyo Rose.

And lastly, I wonder how Jack feels about Fenway Sports Group, owners of the Boston Redsox and their opening day pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka or even worse, the opening day game winning pitcher, Hideki Okajima. After all, isn't baseball "America's game"?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Remember the Speak-N-Spell?

Back in 1978 Texas Instruments came out with the ingenious toy call the Speak-N-Spell. Now one make be asking just what good would a Nascar Crew Chief do with such a child's toy, but seeing Elliott Sadler go through crew chief after crew chief, maybe a different approach might be needed and Texas Instruments might be able to help. Or even Best Buy for that matter.

We have come to know (and some love) what is now being called 'Sadlereese' . 'Sadlereese' is the common but unique southern draw and accent of the driver of the 19 car. But maybe the problems Sadler has had the past 4 or so years is not that the CC is not listening to Sadler's feedback, but that can't 'hear' it. Remember the great words of Sidney Dean in "White Men Can't Jump"?

"Look man, Your can listen to Jimi but you can't hear him. There's a difference man. Just because your listening to him doesn't mean you're hearing him."

RodneyChilders, here is a quick reference or cheat sheet might help out with the 19 team's communication: or in 'Sadlereese' - commuunikayshun

The car, the team, hard work and happy -- The cah, the teyuhm, haarrd wuurk an hayuhppy

Motorcoach playing X-Box -- Motuhcowuhch playuhn Ehx-baawkx

You got me, birdman? -- Ya gowuht me, birdmayuhn?

10-4 -- Teyuhn-fowuh

The car doesn’t like this set of tires…-- The cah duhsn’t liike this seyuht of tahrs…

Were these the same set of codes?? -- Were theyse th’ sayuhm seyuht of cowduhs??

Go back to the way it was before -- Go bayuhk to the waay it wuuz befowuh

This is by far the worst the car has been all weekend -- This is bah fawuh the wuust the cah has beyuhn all weekeyuhnd…

You the man, Brett -- You da mayuhn Breyuhtt.

Football -- foowbaawuh?

Please, Please, Please, what ever you do, don’t make the car any looser! -- Puh-leeuhze, Puh-leeuhze, Puh-leeuhze, whut evah ya do, dowuhn’t mayuhk th’ cah eeny loowsuh!

Track position is going to be really really important --Trayuhk powzehshuhn gonna be reyuhlly reyuhlly impowduhnt

Top 10 car -- Tawuhp teyuhn cah

The guys on the team worked really really hard --The gauhs owhn da teyuhm wuhkuhd reyuhlly reyuhlly haawuhd

Really really bad luck -- Reyhully reyuhlly bayuhd luukh

I’m looking forward to next weekend -- Ahm luukin’ fowwaad ta neyuhxt weykeyuhd…

Emporia – Empowreeuh

Charlotte – Shawlawuht

Best Buy – Bess’Baauh

Stanley – Stayuhnlayuh

Siemens - Seemiins

Dodge - Daawuhgh

Coca Cola – Caouwkuh Couwluh

Allstate – Allstaayuh

Nascar – Naascah

Gillette Evernham Motorsports – G’lett Evernhayuhm Mowtuhspowuhts

Elliott & Hermie Sadler Foundation – Elleeyut ayun’ Huhrmee Saaluh Fowuhdayshun

VLP - Victorhy Layuhn Playuhs Cluuhb

Poker - Powkuh

Sheridan Ridge – Sheruhdun Rayuhdge

Woods – wuuds

Springs – sprayuhngs

Shocks – shaawuhks

Car of Tomorrow – cah uh tomawwuh

Bump stop – buhhump staawuhp

Spring rubber – sprayuhng ruhhbuhh

Track bar - Traak bawuh

Wedge – Weyuhdge

tight - tyuht

Loose - Loowuhs

Center off - Cennuh owuhff

10-4 -- Teyuhn-fowuh

Wheel chatter - Wheeuhl chayttuh

Forward bite - Fowaad biite

Wheel hop – whayle haawuhp

Or if worse comes to worse, maybe the 19 team can just start listening to Jimi. Rodney you really can hear him!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

'Tars!!!!!' or in English 'Tires!!!'

Stock Car Science has written a very nice blog about just how those Goodyears work (or sometimes don't work). Hopefully part two of her blog on this subject will deal with the Crew Chiefs pushing the camber limits over specs and other factors which can cause even the best tires to wear prematurely and fail.

It seems to be a fine line between what drivers want and what Goodyear (and Nascar) determines to be a safe tire for a race venue. But I'll say this, Nascar should stick to a single tire supplier, as a 'tire war' (as seen in the late '90s) would literally kill the sport. (as well as put driver safety in great jeopardy) The problem is that CCs and team owners would use the softest tire available and most aggressive camber setting, simply because it would make them faster. All the while, the tire manufacturers would be in the business to SELL tires, and would be forced to make an even softer tire. The domino effect might never end until the unspeakable happens.

But go check out Stock Car Science, its worth the trip.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Elliott Sadler; open mouth, insert foot

One of my pet peeves is when Nascar fans will knee jerk with their reactions to something that has happened in the sport. This usually consists of passing judgment without actually waiting for all the information to come to the surface. This past weekend, I read and saw a press conference with Elliott Sadler in which he fell victim to such a knee jerk reaction. I waited a couple of days for the “Southern Gentleman” to at the very least, make an honest retraction, but to date no such attempt has been made.

Sadler’s original answer to this question:

“I think that it insults my intelligence as a race car driver when you try and tell me that you accidentally left the oil tank lid off. If you go to any owner, any engineer, any driver any crew chief and ask them is that an advantage, ‘heck yeah it’s an advantage’. I’ve been doing that half of my career. When driving the 21 and 38 car, we pulled the shifter boot off and the oil tank lid off until NASCAR started to tech it. It’s 100 lbs of downforce. “Let me try and put this in perspective for you. We spend three to four million dollars a year going to the wind tunnel trying to change body shapes, trying to do underneath the car, changing crush panels and doing stuff like that all the time – trying to get a gain and trying to get and advantage - when all you have to do is take the oil tank lid off and you get 100 counts of downforce. There’s a beautiful picture of Carl Edwards doing a back-flip – I’m not taking anything away from Carl Edwards, he’s an amazing race car driver. But someone took a picture of him doing a black-flip in the right side of the car and the oil tank lid is eight inches off the top of the tank. That’s not just one bolt. And the right side safety window latches were loose – that’s were the hot air was going. They did a good job and figured it out and made it work. I’m impressed on how they did it – it was smart and it worked out for them – they won the race.”

“One bolt isn’t going to raise it up seven inches off the top of the lid.”

“Yeah, I think there should be differences between pre-race and post-race. If they’re pretty happy with 100 points and 100,000 pre-race, make it 200 points and 200,000 after the race being the one you got to race that way. “When you present a car for inspection I understand slapping you on the wrist and saying ‘look, let’s make sure this doesn’t happy again’. I think that it should be more. If my team cheats this weekend on Sunday and I get a competitive advantage – and I get caught with it – I think that it should be more than what it is when somebody gets caught before the race. I just think that it keeps it all in line and keeps it all fair because you actually didn’t get to race with a competitive advantage.”

When the initial post race inspection failure reports started coming out, and after doing some quick research of just what an oil tank cooler lid truly was, I too was skeptical of Jack Roush’s explanation that ‘one bolt failed causing the cooler lid to become loose’. The reason for this skepticism was due to the fact that most teams attach the oil cooler lid with multiple bolts and the failure of just one bolt should not have the same results as the 99 car. But after seeing and hearing Roush’s more detailed explanation it became very clear that the configuration of the 99 (and all Roush team’s) oil cooler lids truly did only have one bolt (really it was more like a ‘fastener’) holding this lid down. I agree with Nascar and the 99 team’s penalties and the fact that there was not doubt that a rules infraction had occurred. However, I have none (zero, nada) belief that this was done intentionally. Even Lee White from Toyota has backed off his original statement of Roush’s intent that the infraction was done on purpose with this comment.

"I want to recant that. I will tell you categorically, I have been friends with Jack Roush for almost 25 years and he doesn't cheat. He never has. He certainly never did when I was with him. In my opinion, he never will."

So White understands he was wrong and is man enough to admit it, however I have yet to see anything from Sadler. And Sadler took plenty of jabs.

Lets dive in a little deeper to what Sadler was saying.

“I think that it insults my intelligence as a race car driver when you try and tell me that you accidentally left the oil tank lid off.”
First mistake for Sadler, he is speculating that the infraction was controlled by the driver and or race team member, and no where did Jack Roush say it was ‘accidentally left off’.

“If you go to any owner, any engineer, any driver any crew chief and ask them is that an advantage, ‘heck yeah it’s an advantage’. I’ve been doing that half of my career. When driving the 21 and 38 car, we pulled the shifter boot off and the oil tank lid off until NASCAR started to tech it. It’s 100 lbs of downforce.”
Now the ‘Southern Gentleman’ has just ADMITTED to being a cheater, as long as he was confident he would not get caught. Maybe Nascar should put an asterisk beside those 3 wins with the Wood Brothers and Robert Yates Racing, since Sadler has been ‘doing this half his career’. While Nascar is at it, they may as well asterisk the handful of Nationwide (then Busch) Series wins with Diamond Ridge Motorsports as well. With that statement, Sadler has in one moment, tarnished his whole racing career.

“But someone took a picture of him doing a black-flip in the right side of the car and the oil tank lid is eight inches off the top of the tank. That’s not just one bolt.”
Before making such a pointed statement, Sadler might want to do a little for due diligence. Had he done so, he would have known that there truly was only one fastener, and that fastener did fail at some point.

“When you present a car for inspection I understand slapping you on the wrist and saying ‘look, let’s make sure this doesn’t happy again’.”
That’s an interesting twist, especially when one considers the 19’s penalties are Daytona last year for using hollowed out rear wing bolts that allowed air to pass through the trunk of the car, thus creating an aero advantage. The ‘excuse’ was that the 19 had used those same bolts the season before. The irony is that they knew it was illegal, but it was just another example of Sadler cheating, thinking he would not get caught. Or put it another way, Nascar decided to ‘tech’ those bolts so Sadler had to stop using that particular ‘cheat’.

“If my team cheats this weekend on Sunday and I get a competitive advantage – and I get caught with it….”
Since Sadler has already admitted to cheating half his career, it appears in his eyes that the act of cheating is not the issue, it is getting caught. The duality of his statement is simply amazing.

Elliott Sadler (and a handful of other drivers who I really don’t follow) should take the high road, just as Lee White did. He should also apologize for his comments and frankly, that apology should be a public one. His original statement was not some pit reporter cramming a microphone in Sadler’s face and getting an emotional reaction, this was a planned, sit down press conference. But I would not hold my breath waiting for such an apology. Elliott, you maybe 'insulted', but you may want to use up a mulligan and use up a do-over. Your 'intelligence' in this matter does not seem to have a complete comprehension.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Broken Record

Before I start, I just wanted to link one of the most informative blogs to come along in a long time.. It is called Stock Car Science. While it is a new blog, just the first couple of entries are very, very informative. A must see!

In mid January, I bloged about how Elliott Sadler and his PR people have the bad habit of just a lot of talk and very little action. Even though I sited examples of this I did receive the usual share of hate mail from the Plaid Clad and the Blind 19. But still there has been no definitive date set for the biggest Sadler Fan Club Event of the year, despite promises from Sadler himself, his PR person (Brett Griffin), his fan club Webmaster and others.

Sure Griffin in January, narrowed the date of the Sadler Fan Club Barn Party down to two days in September, but even that does not really help SFC fans who have to make travel arrangements and even time of work. All the while, flights prices have risen significantly, and what little hotels in the area are being booked.

SFC fans have continually questioned the powers that be of just what the date is going to be for obvious reasons, and still are receiving the ‘canned’ SFC official response of “Getting the entertainment & drivers on the same date & time schedule is a work in progress” or “We should have details out regarding the event in September by February”.

SFC members have also already started questioning of when their fan packets should be mailed to them. Like clockwork the other canned response of “we are waiting for some special gifts to arrive”. Are these some of the same ‘special gifts’ that SFC members had to question just ‘what was the special gift’ last season?

Has anyone noticed the short lines at the shared 19-souvenir hauler these days? One reason just might be the fan interaction, or lack their of from their driver. Gone are the days of standing 5 or 6 deep waiting to purchase some sort of ‘Southern Gentleman’ goodies, now it seems to be just a walk up window.

This is the last paragraph from the original blog, and is still applicable today:

“Bottom line, announcing a ‘bigger and better’ event and still four months (now six months) later not even announcing an event date is not ‘showing it’. The specific details and “who’s who” of this event is not the priority for the everyday fan at this time. After all, history has shown that SFC fans have been disappointed before because they were forced to speculate on event dates, and even questioned the fan club about said dates, only to be later told that no event would be held. The sting of the 2004 ‘fan event’ still bites at many of the Sadler Fans who have continued to stay on the band wagon. But that wagon has more room on it every day.”

February has now come and gone (along with the other earlier announcement dates), and still SFC fans are left out in the cold.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Three races in, and what do we know?

In all honesty, we don’t know much that can be used when the Chase comes around some 23 races from now. But you can make a few observations:

Ratings are up
For the third week in a row the overnight TeVee ratings are up from last year. I guess all those fans that vowed never to watch a race again are sneaking peaks now and then.

Speaking of TeVee
Thanks to CawsnJaws.com we see that 76% of the Las Vegas race was broadcast. Compared to 74% in 2007, 76% in 2003 and 76% in 2002. Looks as though the commercial break time for Nascar broadcasts at least for Las Vegas has pretty much been the status quo.

It was Interference PA!
Remember the Mayberry episode where Opie is playing touch football with Mrs. Crump’s niece and the niece intercepts on of Opie’s passes? ‘It was pass interference Pa!’ When the TeVee cameraman got in the way of the tire catcher for the 99 team midway through the race, cause a tire to roll across pit road. After reviewing Nascar felt that had the cameraman not got in the way, the normal result would have been for the tire to find it’s rightful place. This is not much different from ‘fan interference’ in Major League Baseball where in the umpire’s judgment, a fan or any other person who is not an actual participant of the game, interferes with a play. The umpire can award runners additional bases, call runners out or pretty much do what ever he thinks would have been the result of the play had the interference not occurred. Nascar did the same thing in the case of the 99 and it was the right thing to do.

Then there is post race inspection
Now this is where things could get interesting. The 99 fails post race inspection for having what Nascar called a ‘missing’ an oil reservoir casing cap. This is slightly more serious then the five Nationwide teams who were fined and docked points for having these caps ‘not properly fastened’. The question for Nascar will be are these two incidences related?

Side bar:
To make matters worse for the 99, it was revealed that the 99 also had an ‘issue’ with the front fenders after the California win. Nascar brushed this off as a ‘gray area’, but I have to wonder just what was the difference from the 99’s wheel wells, and the 24/48’s from Sonoma last year that cost both 100 points/$100,000/6 week CC suspension.

Another great start:
Like most years we are seeing another great start for Elliott Sadler and the 19 team. Still I have to hold back my enjoyment, as this could be just another aberration seen in previous seasons. For example, just last year, Sadler finished 6th at Daytona, 24th at Caly, and 14th at LV. Sounds familiar? It probably does as Sadler has finished 6th (Daytona), 24th (Caly) and 12th (LV) this year, and we all know how last year turned out. And if you really want to queue the ‘Twilight Zone’ music, in 2006 his finishes in the first three races were 4th (Daytona) 24th (Caly) and 14th (LV). Do do do do do do do do doooooooooo.

Speaking of the ‘Southern Gentleman’
Sadler was guilty of what he later found out to be a ‘half a mile an hour’ over the pit road speed limit early in the LV race. The ‘scoring loops’ don’t lie, but I will say that one of the justifications presented over the 19 scanner for ‘Spotterman’ made a lot of sense. Because the 19 was not the only car hit for speeding on entry, (the 2 & 16) during the same stops Griffin made the comment that the ‘1st pace car speeds must have been messed up and others didn’t get a good reading’. The 2, 16, and 19 were all in the first pace group before the race, and gauged their RPM based on the same pace car. But I will say that there was much confusion on the 19 team, agreeing with a good pace speed as Sadler originally claimed that pace speed was ‘3950 (rpms) 2nd gear’, while the Crew Chief claimed the engineers calculated the pace rpms to be in the 3700 range (rpms) in 2nd gear. When it was all said and done, the 19 went with a 3850 (rpms) in 2nd gear, and that proved to be just a tad over.

Never the less, the 19 was able to hang in there and catch a ‘lucky’ caution getting that much needed lap back, and came away with a nice finish. However, I still believe that Nascar needs to come up with a better solution to gauging pit road speeds BEFORE race day. Maybe have the pit stall traps set up during practice as well, so teams can monitor their speeds? Or at the end of practices, have an addition 10 minutes where team’s can run through the pits a hand full of times, clocking pit road speeds. It has to be better than a ‘one time shot’ on the back stretch hoping to ‘match’ the pace car speeds.