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Lowe's Sprint Cup postscript

by Dave Grayson
Monday, October 13, 2008


Carl Edwards had another nightmare race
Rhonda McCole/
NASCAR's Bank Of America 500, held last Saturday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway, provided some very lively moments and gave us all a lot to talk about this week. So let's begin with:

HOORAH for Jeff Burton and his outstanding performance in this race that has now made him a major player in NASCAR's Chase For The Championship.

Along those lines a double HOORAH to Burton's crew chief, Scott Miller, for those very gutsy fuel only pit stop calls especially the one prior to his team's last stop of the race. There was a lot of speculation about the wisdom of that call from the television broadcasters. Even Burton himself admitted after the race that he was not too sure of it either. It was a hero or zero type of call and clearly it paid off in a very big way.

WAZZ UP with the sudden turn in racing luck for Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing? Following the wreck he triggered at the Talladega race the week before, Edwards found himself dealing with a highly unusual electrical problem that knocked out both of the car's ignition boxes. That's one of those one in a million situations. It's also Edwards' second Chase mulligan within a period of six days in a format where mulligans can kill a championship run. He's got a lot of hard racing to do during the final races of the Chase and it's going to be most interesting to see how he does.

WAZZ UP with more bad luck for the Junior Nation? I just can't help but notice that Dale Earnhardt Jr starts races with strong race cars but somehow things like handling problems and tire issues seems to prevent his Hendrick Motor Sports team from closing the deal. Last Saturday night's cut tire, that put him into the wall less than a lap away from a scheduled pit stop, was just one more example that led to a 36th place finish and virtual elimination from the Chase.

A rarely issued double WAZZ UP goes to driver Matt Kenseth and his unbelievably horrible racing luck during the 2008 Chase. The Roush Fenway Racing Ford driver just seems to be continually getting caught up in on track situations not of his making. It's the worst case of wrong place at the wrong time that we've seen lately. It happened again Saturday night when Kenseth came within inches of clearing a wreck only to get tagged at the last possible second which created his 41st place finish.

HOORAH for the pink race cars driven by Bobby Labonte, Elliot Sadler and Kyle Busch. Their teams unveiled bright pink paint schemes in support of the month of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is an extremely vital cause that has impacted far too many American families.

Along those lines HOORAH for Roush Fenway Racing driver David Ragan who, after scoring a top ten in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday night, hopped a plane and flew to Toledo-Ohio to drive a car in the ARCA ReMax Series event where he participated in supporting the Shriner's Hospital For Children both on and off the track.

WAZZ UP with yet another NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race being scheduled and televised on a Saturday night? I'll concede that they get better television ratings on Saturday's at this time of the year while the National Football League is in full season on Sunday afternoons. I'll also concede that going against the NFL on a Sunday is a television ratings battle that can't be won. But the down side of all of this is: every time NASCAR is on television on a Saturday night it has a potential negative impact on the local Saturday night racing programs around the country many of which are actually NASCAR sanctioned. In recent years there was an economic report that stated Saturday night track owners and promoters lose approximately 600 tickets when NASCAR is on television that night. The only saving grace here is the fact that right now NASCAR's broadcasts are primarily on the ABC Network which means that the race is usually re aired on ESPN2, which is owned by ABC, later that night. There's also a rebroadcast of the Sprint Cup on the Speed Channel later in the week. Here's hoping that racing fans around the country are supporting their local tracks and watching the Sprint Cup re airs.

The final thought this week goes out to-get ready for it- Jessica Simpson. WAZZ UP with that pre race concert that she presented at the Lowes Motor Speedway Saturday night? Earlier this year the former pop singer, occasional actress and spokesperson for pimple cream announced plans to launch a new career in the field of country music and has already released her first country CD. If that performance at the Lowes Motor Speedway was a sign of things to come then she had better hang on to that pimple cream gig because her country music vocal ability needs a lot of work. There were times when Simpson's singing was flatter that Dale Earnhardt Jr's right side tire.

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