Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Few Errant NASCAR Thoughts

Personally, I think the “Let the boys race philosophy that NASCAR has adopted this year has meant better racing.  I’m not too happy about the current Brad Keselowski vs. Carl Edwards feud, because it seems to be coming very dangerous, but overall, I’m pretty happy with the racing I’ve seen this season.  Some of the Carl and Brad stuff is a little over the top, and I just pray and hope that nobody gets hurt in this quarrel.

Can Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s luck get any worse?  He had a decent top 20 going at Indy, but got caught up in Juan Pablo Montoya’s debacle with trying to make up spots because of going with four tires instead of two.  I’m not faulting Juan, he should have won that race, but pit strategy raised its ugly head and effectively ended the day for both drivers.

I make no apologies for being a Junior fan.  I’ve been a fan of his since 1998.  I was a fan of his father, whom I still refuse to call Dale Sr., even though that may be technically true.  To me, the father was Dale Earnhardt.  The son will always be Dale Jr.  I’m happy with that, but I’m getting tired of the ‘senior’ tag, though I know it makes it easier for the media types to designate between the two.

I miss the Dale Jr. Pit Stop.  I still read it from time to time, but I haven’t been able to get my password to work on there in almost a year now.  Jim, if you read this, have mercy on me!  I only get online a couple of times a week now, and never on Sundays, but I miss the prayer before the race, and the check in after the invocation.  It was fun seeing people from all over the country, and even all over the world joining in the fun of watching the race and talking about it.  Happy days, all over for me now, I guess.

I’m glad that NASCAR seems to be at least one major sporting event in the country that respects God, our country, and our military brothers and sisters who protect our freedom.  Where there’s NASCAR, there seems to be hope for our country, and our world.

Is it just me, or has Kyle Busch mellowed out a little this year?  I’m actually finding myself enjoying his commercials this year.  For the most part, Kyle’s face after a race is a perfect mirror for his emotions.  When he doesn’t win, he shows the disappointment, very visibly.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s way better than the tantrums of yesteryear, or the on-track retaliation.  Maybe engagement is agreeing with our favorite driver to dislike.  I have to admit, I dislike him less this year that I ever have.  That’s not exactly glowing praise, but it’s a lot better than my opinion of him last year.  We just have to take this a race at a time, I suppose.  Kyle is still a spectacular driver, but like his brother, eventually anyone can mature, it would seem.  Personally, I’m glad to see it.  I don’t like to hate anyone, but two years ago, I hated Kyle Busch.  This year, I find myself only feeling a slight dislike for him.  Every day in every way, we’re all getting better and better!

Are you excited about the count down to the Chase?  I am.  I can’t wait to see who’s in, and who’s out.  I don’t know that I like the idea of knockout racing, and I’m still not exactly sold on the Chase itself, but it is what we have.  It is what it is.

As I write this, I’m watching the Nationwide race at Iowa.  That is a great track.  I’d love to see the Cup guys on this track one day.  I’d also like to see them racing at Kentucky, but, well, you know, that’s how it goes.

Does it irritate you that many convenience store workers have no grasp of English, and an even less grasp of mathematics?  I just went down to the local gas station and the dude tried to charge me $29.95 for a 16 ounce Pepsi.  I argued with him for a while, but gave up when it became apparent that he didn’t speak English.  I walked away, and bought one for a buck at the store across the street.  Dale Jr., Jeff, Jimmie, Mark, your street level sales staff suck.  Why put someone on the counter of a store that doesn’t even understand the most common language in this country?  I’m not saying that we should all speak English, but it wouldn’t hurt in a retail environment.  Screaming at me in your dialect really didn’t help your overall sales model.  Just saying, dude.

I know that the above mentioned drivers didn’t really have a part in this.  It could be Pepsi, Coke, whatever.  It’s just kinda sad when you can’t understand the guy who’s trying to sell you something, because he doesn’t speak my language at all.  I know, I know, I should make myself bilingual.  Right.  I was born here, and it is necessary that I learn how to speak Spanish, Hindi, and whatever other languages that are spoken in the local BP gas station.  Bull bumkis.

The dude in the BP station was pretty smooth.  He even offered to pour the Pepsi over a Styrofoam cup full of ice.  Oooooohhhhhh.   How could I resist?  Somehow, I managed.

While I was walking out the door, I was treated to what can be called a profusion of Hindi curses.  I didn’t mind too much.  I’m more or less a Baptist.  Or maybe a Methodist.  I went to an Episcopalian school too.  Does that count?

Elliot Sadler is out of t he 19 car at the end of 2010 and going to exactly where?  Mark Martin is in the 5 car for Rick Hendrick, but will he be there in 2011, or will Kasey Kahne be in that car?  Some of you feel that Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be the sacrificial lamb in this deal, because he hasn’t performed up to expectations thus far.  Should Rick Hendrick let Dale Jr. go to provide space for both Kahne and Martin in 2011?

If I had the answers to any of these questions, I’d be living in Palm Beach, and you’d never hear from me again.

Bobby Labonte will be driving the 47 Toyota which will be vacated by Marcos Ambrose at the end of 2010.  Ambrose will reportedly be driving either the 9 or 19 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, which may or may not be a lateral move.  I’m still trying to figure out the advantages and disadvantages involved with this move.

It’s August, and it’s time to roll!  Let’s go!

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