There is only ONE Oklahoma

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Another TMS race weekend in the books

I survived yet another TMS race weekend and once again the most fan friendly track on the circuit delivers. That not to say that TMS couldn’t do a better job with some things, but over all, the race weekend experience is second to none from any other Cup track I have attended. Late last night I received an email that Brett Griffin (aka spotterman) had made yet another post on SFC so I thought it would be interesting to re-post his perspective of the race weekend, compared to mine (just a typical race fan).

Brett: Did Texas Suck? Well, it depends on what we're talking about?
1. Fandango rocked. That's one of the coolest fan events of the year! Elliott and Jeff Gordon rocked out!!

Phil: Fandango is probably my least favorite event of the weekend. For me I simply don’t like that type of sideshow. However, that being said, I do understand that I am in the minority and that there are a lot of fans that love this event. It is a very nice fireworks display at the end!

Brett: 2. The weather was finally nice. Thank goodness!!

Phil: The area did need that storm that hit over night Thursday and for the average RV race fan, that storm probably aloud for fire pits in the RV areas. Note to Eddie Gossage: We all understand the dangers of open pit fires and that they should be handled with care, but when your WEBSITE with the camping rules don’t include a ‘change’ from previous years due to the Forth Worth Fire Marshal’s ‘memo’ dated near the first of January, expect a little back lash.

Brett: 3. The race was boring. This is one of the best tracks on the circuit. Jimmie said I didn't realize how bad these cars drive even when they are good... after he hasn't been in the game at the last few larger tracks.

Phil: This race reminded me of the 1999 TMS race (btw, that race was Elliott Sadler’s first ever top ten finish). The ’99 race had a similar amount of cautions and also like last Sunday’s race, had a very long green flag run of over 100 laps in the final 1/3 of the race. The ’99 race ended under caution just as this race would have had it not been for the green/white/checker. And yes, after the ’99 race, the consensus was that was a ‘boring race’ as well. The saving grace for that race was the winner (Terry Labonte) being a home state favorite.

Brett: 4. Jeff Gordon -- wow he dominated at some of the larger tracks early on. Sunday, he looked like we did at ATl and it bit him and he turned it into a test session. They'll recover but it goes to show you need something to drive!

Phil: Every race team gets a mulligan, and the 24 used theirs up.

Brett: 5. Elliott Sadler -- This Elliott's second best track in my opinion. We didn't capitalize on Sunday. At times we were a top 15 team and at times we weren't. There were several cars sliding around worse than ours but overall we just needed more overall grip!

Phil: I think that’s a pretty fair assessment for the effort over-all. Track position was key through-out the day, and when the 19 was able to take advantage of the 42 and 17 getting together, the 19 was able to run with the majority of the lead lap cars. What I did find interesting was that when this segment was taking place, Sadler was still not happy with his car, and the opportunity for drinking game consumption almost tripled. I guess a driver is never satisfied with his racecar.

Brett: 6. Carl Edwards -- Wow. On Fire! I guess he did think it was fun to drive considering his team is dominating these larger tracks... swap him with one of "the others" and see how he likes it. LOL! He may be LOST!

Phil: No ‘oil pan gate’ needed, just as I would guess that the infraction really didn’t gain a significant advantage in the first place. But Nascar did that right thing, with the penalty accessed. Even though at no time intent was proven. Carl was correct though with his quote that in racing there will always be cars that a ‘better’ than others. The C.O.T. is still work in progress, and what I find interesting, is that it is not just a single manufacturer claiming foul. Remember the ‘Ford/ Chevy’ advantage wars of the late ‘90s and ‘00s? Then Nascar would add or cut a little spoiler off one manufacturer or add some to another to ‘create equal racing’. Talk about a mess!

Brett: 7. NASCAR -- several guys were worn out after the race most notably the 11 and 12... are these cars to hot or is the first hot race of the year to blame? Please make it where these guys can race. Late race cautions aren't going to bail you out every week.

Phil: TMS is traditionally the ‘first hot race’ of the season. Just guessing but I think driver comfort had more to do with not being acclimated yet. As far as making the cars where the guys can race? Maybe that has more to do with ‘acclimation’ of the C.O.T. as well. I realize Nascar limits testing in an attempt to save the teams money, but at this stage of the C.O.T. maybe having more testing with Goodyear would be more beneficial than mid season C.O.T. aero changes. Just a guess though, I'm thinking Michael McDowell is pretty happy about using the C.O.T.

Brett: 8. 12 car -- typical COT fine is my guess...

Phil: Don’t see how it could be anything different either.

Brett: 9. E's back -- Sunday I'd say he was 95%

Phil: Back injuries are no fun and unpredictable. Glad to see that this injury hasn’t seemed to play a huge role over the past two weeks.

Brett: 10. Texas Motor Speedway -- Best Promoter in the sport. One of my favorite tracks. Great crowd!! Great state. Great people. I can't wait to come back!

Phil: There is a reason why I relocated to Texas some 10 years ago!

Lastly, a week or so ago I finished reading this book: The Physics of Nascar. I have been asked to pen a short review which I hope to have finished in a week or so, but if you are an Elliott Sadler fan (even if you are not) and followed the 19 team last year this is a must read book. More to come on this subject.


Anonymous said...

I love Brett's posts on the Fan Club, but I wonder why Elliott never posts anymore. I guess he is just too busy for us these days.

I have heard about that book too, I am going to got a copy as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Spotterman's comments. I refused to pay to read any message board, let alone SFC, so I am glad you post things he says here. It is a shame that SFC went to a pay to play board. People like me miss out on alot of stuff, and that is a shame. I wish you would post more of his stuff.

Anonymous said...

About the Fandango thing and Rockstar Elliott. Male stubborness is somethin' else. You tell me how with a back injury like he had... how, or better yet why in the world would you arch your lower back the way the photos show, other than I am stubborn and I am gonna show them I am fine. Boy bet you Dr. Anderson loved that. Ain't enough pain patches in the world to cover that.

okla21fan said...

Anonymous #2
I post most of them when they are emailed to me, as I am not an SFC member anymore either. (sounds like a trend)

Anonymous said...

You are not missing much over at SFC. Elliott or Hermie never post unless they want something, and Brett only posts occasionally and most of the time that is for damage control. Brett calls blogger's nameless people hiding behind a keyboard, but asks opinions from the other nameless, faceless SFC peeps hiding behind their keyboards. Sort of hypocritical if you ask me.