Great Racing at Dover International Speedway the “Monster Mile”

We decided to pack up the RV on Friday night and make the 8 hour trek down to Dover International Speedway,  AKA the “Monster Mile.”

If you’re a race fan and have never been to Dover, it’s worth the trip. We had an absolute blast at this track. The racing was awesome, and it was a pretty cool place to take in a cup race.

The Monster in front of Dover International Speedway

The first thing that I didn’t realise was how steep the banks were in the turns. At 24 degrees of banking in the turns, and 9 degrees on the straights, it’s almost like a mini Daytona. Watching the race on T.V. doesn’t give the track any justice, when you go there in person, then you know why it’s called the “Monster Mile.” This track chewed up stock cars and spit them out.

The big one happened on lap 9 when Tony Stewart and the 83 tangled coming out of turn 2. The two cars spun blocking the entire speedway causing a 12-13 car pile-up. With nowhere to go, one car slammed right into another down the backstretch. They had to red flag the race for a while to clean up the carnage off of the track.

The two Busch brothers, and Jeff Burton all suffered blown motors as a result of trying to tame the monster, but their cars would have no part of it as one by one their motors decided to expire.

Jeff Gordon seemed to have the only car that could catch and pass the 48 Lowes machine of Johnson. However once again Gordon’s bad luck of 2012 continued when he left his pit stall and reported a loose wheel over the radio a few laps later, which forced him to pit under green. He came back out of the pits in around the 21st place, and luck never really seemed to be on his side to help him make his way back towards the front of the pack He finished 13th for his efforts.

There was no stopping Kevin Harvick, as he also challenged Jimmie Johnson for the lead. He even had to pick his way back through the field after missing his pit stall on pit road, and then had to go all the way around the track to try it one more time so that his car could get serviced by his pit crew. Harvick took home a second place finish.

On of the things that I had to laugh at (or didn’t expect) was that when we pulled into Lot 10 to park the RV, everyone was mowing their lawn. It was pretty comical, to see everyone with red lawn mowers strapped to their motorhomes. In NH the fans all have Radio Flyer wagons to haul stuff to the track.

 

 

The 48 of Jimmie Johnson Goes Green For Earth Day

Sunday April 22 is Earth Day, and the 48 of Jimmie Johnson will go green at the drop of the green flag. As part of their 60′s throwback paint scheme strategy, Jimmie Johnson and the Lowes Racing Team decided, how cool would it be to paint the five time champs cup car a “Mountain Green” which was the color of choice used by General Motors on quite a few muscle cars back in 1967.

David Sutphin who happens to be the Sports Marketing Manager for Lowes, said that they researched some of the old throwback color schemes that were offered on classic cars as a way to keep switching up the color of the Lowes machine that Johnson drives.

It’s a great way to make the 48 stand out from the rest of the field, and is also pretty cool for those muscle car fans sitting in the grandstands.

Photo Credit: Lowes Racing

Jimmie Johnson

 

After A Wild One At Daytona The Boys Head To Phoenix

If you caught this years Daytona 500, it seemed as though the race would never get started, and then it almost seemed as though the race would never end. Lucky for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (being the night owl that he is) the race went to 1:00 Tuesday morning. Matt Kenseth claimed the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway,  Dale Jr. came in second, while “The Biff” finished in third.

Right out of the gate it seemed as if something was in the air at Daytona. Jimmie Johnson hit the outside wall on lap 2, taking with him Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick and also a couple of other drivers.

There were wrecks and crashes all night long, the biggest one came from Juan Pablo Montoya when he was trying to catch up to the field, while the track was under a caution. Montoya came out of the pits after complaining that there was something wrong with the car. As he made his way around the track something broke in the rear end and send the Target machine skidding sideways right into the tracks jet dryer truck which exploded on impact.

Both Juan and the driver of the track truck were ok, and evaluated. Juan was checked out and released from the medical center right away, while the truck driver was kept for observation and then released. Montoya’s car sat in the infield grass in a smoldering heap.

This week the Camping World Truck Series is off, the Nationwide Series will run on Saturday, and the NASCAR Sprint Sup Series will run on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson seems to be the fan favorite at Phoenix with 14 top tens and 4 wins, and Jeff Gordon also knows how to get the job done at Phoenix with 2 wins and 18 top tens. Both driver should be a great pick for you fantasy league. It will be interesting to see how Jimmie Johnson does this week with a new fill in crew chief for the short-term.

 

 

Will Earnhardt Win During The 2012 Season

Last year Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series under his new crew chief Steve Letarte. The previous year he had finished the season in 21st place in the points standings under his old crew chief Lance McGrew.

Although he still hasn’t won a race since 2008, Dale Jr. and Steve Letarte made huge strides and really improved over the 2011 season. He could have easily shot Kevin Harvick up the hill at Martinsville to reclaim the lead and put an end to his winless streak, but Dale said he wanted to race him clean, and I’m sure Junior Nation can respect that.

Then there was the Coca-Cola 600 when Jimmie Johnson blew up, Dale Junior was coming to the checkers and ran out of gas! Kevin Harvick ultimately once again claimed a victory during that race.

Dale also hung out at the back of the pack under Chad Kanaus’s request in an effort to stay out of trouble for the race which ultimately worked against junior to the point where, when he got out of the car he said he was done sand bagging at these tracks.

I think in the 2012 season Dale will finally end his dry spell and claim the checkers more than once.

Video Source YouTube:

Johnson Hits The Wall Hard During Saturday Night’s Bank Of America 500

The Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, didn’t seem to have much going for it until the last 40 laps or so when guys started to get itchy and impatient. Midway through the field there was plenty of pushing and shoving going on.

Jimmie Johnson rolled into Charlotte third in the Nascar Chase, but his incident with Ryan Newman changed all of that.  Johnson was running low and Ryan Newman was going around on the high side, when the air off of Newman’s car seemed to upset the 48 of Johnson. Johnson’s Lowes Chevrolet began to spin sideways, when that happened Jimmie floored the gas to keep the car from backing into the wall, all of a sudden the 48 hooked sideways and went full tilt tight into the safer barrier.

Johnson’s car hit the wall so hard it moved the safer barrier back about a foot, stoved the whole front end of the Lowes machine in, and when he hit the safer barrier, the rear of the car lifted about 3-4 feet off of the ground from the impact.

Jimmie was taken to the infield medical center where he was immediately checked and released, and ended up being okay. If this accident were about 10 years ago the outcome more than likely would have been grim.

Nascar has done a great job in the past 10 years in evolving these cars to the point where the drivers can walk away from accidents like this. Jimmie Johnson now sits 8th in the Chase.