Putting the NAP in NAPCAR

Posted by Iannucci | 10/27/2007 | 11 comments »
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Dario Franchitti raced and lived to tell about it today at what may have been the most boring race in the history of Memphis Motorsports Park. There's a very tired flagman tonight in Tennessee because the 250-lap race on the 3/4 mile track featured 25 cautions for 116 laps!!!

That's so NOT racin'.

Mr Judd got off to a smokin' start in his first Busch race by qualifying P3 and hanging around the Top 10 most of the day. Unfortunately he brought out one of those yellow flags with about 50 laps remaining when he punted another driver, which damaged his car and brought the law down on him for aggressive driving. What? Dario getting punished for aggressive driving? Who knew?

Announcer Marty Reid(!) mentioned that Franchitti, who finished 32nd and 3 laps off the pace, will be participating in the other three remaining Busch series events this season. Then again, Marty was so tired that at one point he read slogan for an alocholic beverage sponsor as "It's not about quality...it's about quality, not quantity." Whatever you say, Marty.

11 comments

  1. john clerk // October 27, 2007 11:39 PM  

    I caught it on TV as I was channel surfing. I noticed at the time he was running about 3rd or 4th. I didn't stop to watch the race... and from your description, I didn't miss much.

    I can't get excited about "N" word racing. I went to one Brickyard and that was enough. I have 37 500's and 1 Brickyard 400 to my credit. That statistic says it all, don't you think?

    That said, I'm not so heartless that I don't feel sorry for Sam's current streak of Nextel Cup non-qualifying.

  2. mmack // October 29, 2007 6:33 AM  

    Well, if Mark C. at AutoRacingone.com can be believed, there's an update on the "Latest Rumors" list entitled "Update 2, IRL may not have to worry about losing Hornish". Of course further down the list is another rumor that says "Penske Team [Penske South, the NASCAR division] eyes switch to Toyota".

    IF the second rumor is true (and at this point a switch from Dodge to Toyota engines by the 2008 season for the new "Tank of Tomorrow" would be very difficult, but not impossible), then it would explain the first rumor. If Toyota is shopping around for teams they know will be in the celebrated "Top 35" (as of this morning the #2 and the #12 are in the top 15 in Owners Points), and if Penske is a likely target (And he may be, given he ran their engines in the IRL), Toyota may look at the trials of Sam I Am and say "Oh no, we've already got A.J. Allmendinger and Michael Waltrip, we're not going through THAT again!"

    Again, all of this is based on rumor and speculation, and to be honest, I don't see paying $30/yr to subscribe and read Mark C's rumors. Truth be told on the Champ Car and IRL side Mark C is more accurate than Robin Miller, but looking at Miller's track record, that's not saying much.

    Johnny, if you're reading this thread and Mark C. is way way off target, what Top 35 team would Penske buy to keep Sam I Am in at least the first five races of next year if he does stay in the tin-tops?

  3. Johnny // October 29, 2007 8:14 AM  

    Mmack:

    I am back from the Atlanta NASCAR race and just catching up. I have been hearing the Penske to Toyota thing for a LONG time but I don't know if it will ever happen. Besides running Toyota for a long time in the IRL, Roger also owns the largest Toyota dealer chain in the US, so he's a prime target of theirs. Add to the fact that all the other Dodge teams have added a car and multi-year contracts this year, and it looks more likely that Penske may bolt. However, I've heard that Honda has been very vocal about wanting him to stay away from their arch rival in the NASCAR world. I also think Toyota is done with the "big" signings for this year after their Gibbs deal got inked. But in 2009 and beyond, I look at it like this, either Penske adds another car to match Ganassi and GEM Dodge, or he leaves for Toyota. A 2 car Dodge team just won't do it anymore.

    As for which Top 35 team/points to buy, I would think the most likely would be the #96 of Tony Raines, the #70 of Johnny Sauter (Haas is consolidating down to 2 cars next year and won't need that team) and finally maybe one of the Yates cars, as we're not quite sure what he's going to do yet.

  4. pressdog // October 29, 2007 10:11 AM  

    Why do your torture yourself, Jeff? WHY? It was a great weekend here in Iowa, too good to squander on 116 laps of yellow. WTF? That's eff-ed up.

  5. mmack // October 29, 2007 10:40 AM  

    Pressdog,

    What's worse: watching 116 laps of yellow flag racing in a Busch Series race or watching the stellar production values of Champ Car's Surfer's Paradise race on ESPN Classic?

  6. john clerk // October 29, 2007 11:27 AM  

    It's really not so hard to figure out...

    Inconsistency

  7. mmack // October 29, 2007 11:44 AM  

    Jeff,

    Any future posts speculating on this story from the Indianapolis Business Journal? Or are you going to make us wait until Wednesday?

  8. Johnny // October 30, 2007 4:06 AM  

    To anybody wondering about the Penske Points Situation:

    Check out the top story at The Jayski Penske Page and it lays out another (and maybe the most likely) scenario in which Hornish would be given Kurt Busch's points for the first five races of next year.

  9. john clerk // October 30, 2007 8:27 AM  

    mmack,

    This doesn't answer your question or comment on the content of the article, but what bothers me GREATLY are the comments at the bottom of the article by all the blogging "haters." It's the downside to blogging. I've left several website blogs simply because there was too much negativity. It's the downside to "free speech." It's a real downer, man...

    Everyone has big balls behind a keyboard...

  10. mmack // October 30, 2007 10:07 AM  

    John Clerk,

    The comments on the bottom of the page are an example of The Crappies, the CART\OWRS\CCWS\Whatever die-hards who have hated the IRL ever since it was founded back in 1995. (BTW, The Crappies are the title that they have selected for themselves) They hate anything remotely related to Tony George, and their rallying cry is "FTG!" They live to tear down the IRL and they've gotten more shrill as their series slowly fades from view.

  11. mmack // October 30, 2007 11:16 AM  

    Jeff,

    According to the man himself it was NOT aggressive driving. The brakes failed:

    "The car was good, the start with the car was really good," Franchitti said. "After the second stop we just got really tight, unbelievably tight, I don't know why.

    "That allowed some guys to dive inside and then I started to lose the brakes, which I was really surprised with because I didn't think I was using them that hard.

    "Then I came behind [Miller], I jumped on the brake pedal and it went to the floor. With a bit more experience I probably would've pumped it before that, but it went to the floor and I hit him really hard.

    "I wrecked the front of the car, wrecked his car and from that point the car was damaged, got a lap penalty for that and we only went downhill from there."

    Franchitti was held in the pits for a lap as a penalty for causing the incident. He was one of five drivers who got punished for rough driving, but the Scot didn't argue the penalty, instead settling the incident after talking to NASCAR officials.


    Glad that's cleared up. Brakes must've failed at Kentucky too. :^/