If I could attend just one NASCAR race ever, it would at Bristol. “Thunder Valley”, half mile track in Tennessee. It’s the fourth-largest sporting venue in the United States and eighth in the world. And this past weekend I could have had my dream; there were a bunch of empty seats very visible on television. So of course as soon as the race is over the Twitters are aflutter about why this is. General thinking is that when the track was reconfigured a few years ago it changed the racing dramatically. Before it was all bumping and trading paint, and this year the wrecks were not as frequent as they used to be. So it basically depends on which type of racing you prefer: clean but hard, or a wreck fest. Me, I generally like the wrecking, but on Sunday the racing was good. Different leaders, different pit and tire strategies, and the big wreck in the beginning of the race that took a few different top-10 cars out of the running. Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon did a little bumping, and just happened to do it in a way that immediately cut down Gordon’s left rear tire and made a third place car finish more than 100 laps down. Not good for teammates. Another big reason this year given for the attendance was the high cost of hotels in the area added to the price of gasoline. Finally the weather played a role; while it did not delay the race there was a rain shower early in the morning. That hurt walk-up ticket sales and perhaps caused 8,000 sold tickets to go unused.
I’m a little late this week posting results from the weekend because the final appeal hearing for the 48 team was to be decided today. Since I don’t completely understand the technical reason behind the initial problem I won’t go into it, just Google “Johnson C-post penalty” and you’ll have all the information. Basically, a part of the car did not pass inspection before the race at Daytona and the following penalties were placed: Johnson was docked 25 drivers points, crew chief and car chief were suspended for 6 races, and crew chief Chad Knaus was fined $100,000. Team owner Rick Hendrick immediately requested an appeal, which was held last Tuesday and all penalties were upheld. So Hendrick requested the highest appeal possible, which is just one person who happens to be a former GM executive (Hendrick cars are all Chevy). The final appeal was held today, and the original penalties were overturned, except for the $100,000 fine. So Johnson gets 25 points back, which puts him in eleventh place in the standings, and there will be no suspensions. While the appeals were happening at the NASCAR R&D center, there were several members of the media sitting outside waiting for the announcement. People started speculating which person would be the one to break the news. According to my feed it was Jenna Fryer. I’m working on my Twitter lists to make them more concise, but for right now feel free to subscribe to either my NASCAR or IndyCar lists. I’ll let you know when they get updated.
Family time! Camden’s allergies have been acting up the past few days. He’s got watery eyes, runny nose and a cough. He sounds so pathetic talking with his stuffed up nose. He didn’t really talk the last time he was sick, so this is new. He gets so mad when his nose is running – really, crying and throwing himself down. We’re working again on him blowing his nose, which he had down last time, but can’t seem to blow hard enough. When I told Tim about the result of the NASCAR hearing today, he said “Well I guess it’s NASCAR’s turn to have inconsistent officiating now.” Our house has started a countdown to the start of IndyCar season – 5 more days!!!