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Phoenix Postscript

by Dave Grayson
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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There were HOORAHS that were fun and WAZZUPS by the ton from the valley of the sun. Here's a quick look back at the NASCAR weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway.

HOORAH for Jimmie Johnson and the entire Lowe's 48 team for their seventh win of the season and virtually putting a lock on that record tying third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Their performance was virtually flawless. Johnson only needs to finish 36th or better to claim NASCAR's grand prize next Sunday.

HOORAH for Carl Edwards and his refusal to give up. The Roush Fenway Ford driver still has a very slim chance of taking the championship away but it's not likely. At the same time Edwards has also been chasing the NASCAR Nationwide Series title where he's trimmed 140 points from Clint Bowyer's lead in the last three races. There’s now a 56 point deficit between the two drivers going into the final race next Saturday. Edwards is not going to quit until someone tells him the season is over and it's time to go home. Good for him and good for NASCAR.

Normally I would not consider making fun of a serious wreck like the one seen at the Phoenix race when David Gilliland's Ford wound up parked on top of Scott Speed's Toyota. But there were a couple of really funny lines in the aftermath that bears repeating. HOORAH for Randy LaJoie, a commentator on ESPN2's Monday round table edition of "NASCAR Now" who suggested that Scott Speed was examining "the born on date of Gilliland's fuel cell." LaJoie also noted that it reminded him of a scene from the Tom Cruise movie "Days Of Thunder." Also HOORAH to my racing buddy, Six Pack Eddie, who called to tell me that the entire scene was actually a mating ritual and "Ford always likes to be on top."

That brings me to a previously issued WAZZUP from five weeks ago that I'm still talking about. Do you think that Red Bull Racing is kicking themselves for letting driver A J Allmendinger go? When Allmendinger was replaced by Scott Speed the #84 Red Bull Toyota was inside of NASCAR's top 35 in owner's points. It's not anymore. In four races Speed has a very dismal average finish of 34.2 and the car is now 36th in owner's points. That's why they're putting veteran Mark Martin in the car next week for the season finale in hopes that he can get the car back into that all important top 35. It's just one more reason why I don't drink Red Bull Energy Drink. The main reason I won't drink Red Bull is the fact that it tastes like something the family dog left in the back yard.
   
HOORAH to General Motors for clinching the NASCAR Manufacturer's Championship at Phoenix. This marks the 32nd time they've won the title during their long history in stock car racing.

WAZZUP with the television networks who cover NASCAR's big three national series? Because of their nonstop effort to wrench the last drop of nonexistent drama from the Chase For The Championship they have bestowed nowhere near the coverage that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series richly deserves. There are only three points between drivers Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday Jr going into next Friday night's final race. This is one of the best NASCAR championship runs that we've seen in quite a few years and it deserves better coverage than it's been getting.

Along those lines HOORAH to crew members from the Benson and Hornaday team. Both of their trucks sustained significant damage from wrecks during the Phoenix race and the respective teams did a magnificent job of returning their drivers back to the race. The extra effort has created the exciting conclusion that we're all going to be treated to next Friday night.

A double HOORAH goes out to Jack Roush who got on the radio and dispatched members of Roush Fenway Racing to the Benson and Hornaday trucks to help with the repairs.

HOORAH for Kyle Busch for two reasons connected to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. First off, his on track efforts has returned Billy Ballew Motorsports to victory lane. Secondly, in an effort to help out a good friend and a good team owner, Busch has declined to accept any driver's pay from his winning efforts. In the middle of all of that sarcasm, that often generates a lot of negative headlines, the man has proven that he has a sense of class.

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