Sunday, June 8, 2008

Congratulations to Brad Keselowski

I think we all knew that the day we saw the 88 Navy Chevrolet in victory lane was coming, and Brad finally sealed the deal last night at Nashville. Brad has been earning respect from his fellow Nationwide Series race drivers this year, and at long last, JR Motorsports got a big win with it's young driver.

Brad has been impressive, to me at least, not just for his on track skills. Brad's ability to keep a cool head after all the adversity involving Denny Hamlin a couple of weeks ago was impressive. In the post race interviews, Brad came across as the seasoned veteran, and Denny came across as the rank amateur. Brad finally got what he so richly deserved last night, after coming so close so many times. In racing, winning is always the best way to prove you are the real deal, and Brad finally got to prove that to the world.

In other racing news, it was interesting to see Kyle Busch, who is in the midst of running a grueling triple race weekend, being less than gracious in his 2nd place finish at Texas on Friday. After finishing in 2nd place, Kyle basically said the truck was a piece of crap, and walked away. I feel bad for the crew that worked so many long hours to make that truck the best they could make it, only to have their hotshot celebrity driver basically trash their efforts. It's not like Kyle finished dead last or anything, but that's they way spoiled brats behave, I suppose.

Today, we'll see the Cup boys racing at one of Nascar's strangest tracks. Pocono Raceway is a 2.5 mile long triangular shaped track that has no equal in all of the sport. Some may question whether the track deserves 2 race dates, but I imagine that the racing fans in Pennsylvania and surrounding states would willingly fight to keep 2 dates at their home track. In some ways, it's like a super speedway, with the longest straight of any track, but the tight corners almost make it seem like a road course.

Pocono has been the site of some very dangerous accidents during it's history. Dale Earnhardt suffered many injuries here years ago. Other drivers have as well. On this track, I'm thankful for the new car, and all of it's safety features. I hope we won't have to find out the hard way just how safe these cars are today.

Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to upper 90's during today's race, which is indeed very hot for early June in the Pocono Mountains. The track, with it's older pavement, will be especially slick during the hot temperatures at race time. I imagine we will see cars in the wall in all 3 corners, and even on some of the straights as well. Exiting the tight corners and keeping the car driving straight while accelerating will take all the skill of every driver today.

Congratulations Brad Keselowski. You finally got the win, and I hope we see many more from you in the future. We're all very proud of you, and I hope Dale Jr. gives you a nice bonus this week in your pay check!

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