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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Racing God never forgets

Jimmy Spencer used to be considered the racer who “doesn’t forget”, but after listening to his dribble over the past couple of years on the Speed channel, its pretty clear his memory is fading. But last Sunday we got to see the ‘Road Course Racing God’ in full retaliation mode.

Before we get into the minutia, lets preface a bit that I feel that road courses by nature are as much of a crap shoot as a plate race or even a Bristol race. There are just so many things that can happen that the driver cannot control which affects the final outcome of races. I am glad that NASCAR has the foresight to not add a road course to the Chase.

It took the Racing God about a year to repay Juan Pablo Montoya back for his multiple rough driving win at this very track last year, but with the help of a similar hard charging Aussi making his very first Cup start, the Racing God lashed back. JPM was clipped and spun costing him several positions and it looked to be something that JPM might not rebound from. However, the Racing God did show mercy to JPM by throwing a caution as well. Marcus Ambrose was attempting to pass (and had the line) of the 26 car, Jamie McMurray when JPM took a lower line in the hairpin turn 11. Who knows is Ambrose saw JPM, but never the less, the contact was enough to send the 42 car for a spin. Seems though afterwards, both Ambrose and JPM were able to works things out, with little harm or little foul.

Flash forward a handful of laps, and Ambrose would feel the wrath of the Racing God via a ‘dive bombing’ Elliott Sadler. Much to my dismay as a fan of Sadler, he showed no remorse at all for his ‘Stuka’ tactic, whether it be on the scanner or in his post race interviews. I would have hoped that Sadler would have directed a comment and an "I'm sorry for ended your day" to a former employer who gave him his career big break, he expects that when it happens to him. To date, it is almost like it never happened at all. (I am sure Dave Moody will be happy to lob some softballs Sadler's way and not touch on this racing incident later today) Now this may not be such a huge deal, but Sadler (and some of his fans) have demanded apologies from others this season when they felt they were ‘wronged’ and ruining a good effort with a great car.

While, Ambrose showed all weekend, that the 21 Wood Brothers Ford was a ‘great car’, by leading two of the three practices, qualifying in the top ten and running in the top ten much of the day. But the post race interviews from Ambrose, were ones of class, and satisfaction of the effort given by the 21 team for the whole weekend. No finger pointing at some other driver, ‘ruining’ his day, just a lot of excitement from an up an comer in the Cup series. I remember someone else who used to be that way too!

The Racing God didn’t forget either, and decided to will upon the offender, a slow leaking right rear tire. While not ruining the 19’s day, it surely did put a damper on a fine effort. Adding insult to injury, the 19’s tire finally exploded as the 19 crossed the start/finish line, which resulted in another car making some solid contact pretty much destroying the 19’s rear end. No one likes to see a good car wrecked after the fact, well, maybe the Racing God does.

But all of these on-track incidents could have been worse as I was reminded of the 1991 Sonoma race when Ricky Rudd also tapped a car from behind and ‘moved’ them out of his way while on his way to what we thought would be a checkered flag finish. History shows that NASCAR, and not the Racing God stepped in and stripped Rudd of the win. My how times have changed. But the Racing God still never forgets.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sadler has yet to even address his punting of Ambrose, and your are right again, Moody didn't even bring the subject up.

Had the roles been reversed, we would be hearing Sadler whine and spoiled bratism all the way from his Kentucky testing.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I haven't heard much mention of the crew chief's mutterings near the end of the race: "Maybe the best thing is to cause a caution and take somebody out?" Glad the decided against that strategy -- I'm sure the Racing God would have had his revenge!

Trixie said...

That's it...that's the reason Tony is having almost wins this season. I mean how ironic he has tire issues in the closing laps and then gets spun late on Sunday. It's nice to fool with the Racing Gods.

Kim said...

Elliott is getting two faced in his old age. This season has exposed that and I think many of his fans are getting tired of the act. I know i am.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the race gods smiled on Sadler yesterday.