I’m finally getting around to writing this week. Cam’s off to Grandma’s for a few days so we can go downtown for our anniversary. We did this last year and had such a great time we’re going it again. Spending the night at the Mokara Hotel and getting a couples massage, followed by dinner at Boudro’s. Hopefully the next day we’ll get to try The Esquire Tavern. I’ve heard great things about it and it was nominated for a James Beard Award! So during my day alone today, I’m going to try my hand out at a paint-by-numbers kit I got. I’ve always wanted to paint, but kinda suck at it, so we’ll see if a little guidance helps. I’ve also gotten into genealogy lately. I did it mostly to trace Tim’s dad family, since he really doesn’t know much past two generations. I’ve run into a brick wall there, so I’ve been doing everyone else I can think of
It was the first of two off weeks for Nationwide, we’ll focus on the Sprint Cup series. The old Bristol is my favorite track, the one I say I will go to one day for a race, but Martinsville is a close second. Ryan Newman ended up winning the race on the second Green-White-Checkered finish. GWC is used when there’s a late race caution and when all the clean up and getting in position is completed there would be less than three laps to go. So when they restart they see the green flag. One time around and then they see the white flag. Another time around then the checkered flag. Now if on the first lap they see the caution flag before the white flag, another GWC attempt. They are allowed up to three attempts. If they see the white flag (second lap) the next flag will end the race, whether it’s the checkered flag or caution flag. I love GWC finishes, especially on short tracks. Makes it all come down to the last minute. For instance, on the first restart Newman was 5th and ends up winning the whole thing.
The incident that cause the GWC finish was when David Reutimann’s car stopped on the track. Apparently they had issues for the last several laps with something broken inside the car and Reutimann never came down pit road to either fix it or go to the garage. So his car just shuts off on the front stretch causing a late race caution. Reutimann drives the #10 car when Danica Patrick is not in the car. I’m not going to pretend I understand everything about that, but basically when Danica’s driving they get their engines from Hendrick Motorsports (because she’s racing for Stewart-Haas, even though her technical ownership is with Tommy Baldwin racing, because they traded or bought points so she was guaranteed in the top 35 points for her first race). When Reutimann drives the car they have a different engine supplier (I believe ECR) but the goal is to still stay in the top 35 in points so Danica doesn’t have to qualify on time when it’s her turn in the car. Reutimann said in the post race interview that he was told to stay out with the car as long as possible to keep their hopes of staying in the top 35 alive. Unfortunately, since he brought about the caution, the two Hendrick cars leading most of the race ultimately crashed out on the first GWC attempt, meaning Rick Hendrick is still chasing his elusive 200th Sprint Cup Series victory.
Finally on to Barber Motorsports Park and the IndyCar race! After being denied going to the Fast 6 in qualifying for not heeding a red flag, Will Power started from ninth and his teammate Helio Castroneves started from the pole. This race was like night and day from the race at St. Petersburg broadcast by ABC last week. I was trying to keep up with Twitter during most of the race, and I love reading the tweets from everyone with their different views and snarky comments. I can’t remember who said it, but the gist was – we saw more passing the first lap televised on NBCSN than the entire race on ABC. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of road & street course, but that was a great race to watch. There was a lot of passing and even some bumping with the new cars. In the end, Will Power drove through the field and caught a bit of a break when there was a small issue with Scott Dixon’s last pit stop and he came up to the lead and finished first. For the third year in a row a Penske car won and Scott Dixon finished second. “It’s not Barber if Scott doesn’t finish second” was another tweet I can remember. Hopefully all races on NBCSN are televised with this much energy and maybe ABC can learn something by paying attention to their competition.