Author Topic: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?  (Read 3493 times)

Scott

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Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« on: April 02, 2007, 01:27:38 AM »
Having never watched a NASCAR race until late last season, I had no idea who the drivers were. There was a small handful that I considered to be household names: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. Since they were the only names I knew, I had big expectations of these guys.  Yet, so far, I hadn't see the "big 4" battle for a win the way I thought I would.

About 40 laps into today's race, the race I'd been expecting since day one, was finally starting to take shape. Gordon, Stewart and Jr, all in the top 5. Jimmie Johnson was the only one missing from the list.

By the 75th lap, Jimmy Johnson had worked his way up to the 11th position. I have hope that I'll see the "big 4" on top by the end of the race.

With roughly 350 to go, Jr comes out of a yellow flag pitstop in 2nd place.

293 laps to go, just came back from commercial and my dream race is finally on. The "big 4" are all in the top 5. Order: Gordon, Stewart, Jr, Johnson (2nd through 5th, with Denny Hamlin in the lead).

230 to go, Denny Hamlin lost huge time/positions leaving the pit area under a yellow flag stop. Tony Stewart emerged with the lead. I've seen him race with a lead, and it's amazing. Barring another mechanical failure or brain fart (like speeding on pit row), the rest of the field had better watch out!

Two laps later, Stewart goes down to Jeff Gordon. So much for my vision of Stewart dominance from this point on.

With 271 to go. Jr passes Tony Stewart to move into 2nd place behind Gordon. Finally, the stuff my NASCAR dreams were made of are about to occur!

266 to go, and something goes wrong with Jeff Gordon's car. Initial speculation is that he had a flat tire. A mere 5 laps after my dream matchup took the lead, Gordon drops out momentarily. Oh well, at least one of the NASCAR heros was still in it... Go Junior!

Thankfully, the problem with Jeff's car turned out to be nothing. The potential for my dream matchup was still there.

224 to go and Gordon has been on the move. He's all the way back up to the 11th spot. He's up to 9th with 215 to go. 192 laps to go, and Gordon is back up to 6th, with Junior is in the lead.

The battle between those two sort of went downhill from there. After several lead changes, it was becoming apparent that Earnhardt and Gordon wouldn't be battling for first in the end, though both had extremely strong finishes.  In the end, it turned out to be a battle of teammates, which I'll rant about that at a later date.

Not a bad race. Perhaps the closest thing, so far, to how I thought these races were supposed to go. My Big 4 all finished in the top 10.  Dale Jr has his best finish of the year by taking 5th. A performance that bumped him into the top 12, where he belongs. Stewart's 7th place finish has him sitting comfortably in 8th place in the standings.

I should also mention much improved performances by two rookies: David Ragan (15th) and Juan Pablo Montoya (16th).

I didn't end up seeing my dream finish, but came a lot closer than I have so far. The seson is young. All in all, an excellent race. Even the rain delay provided a level of excitement, in the form of pre-storm pit strategy. Something I never would have thought of becoming a factor.

Random thought of the day: Kyle Busch has a huge pair of coconuts, bumping Dale out of the way like that. Only time will tell if that will come back to bite him in the ass later.

The bad news: No Nextel Cup race next Sunday.
- Scott Spain

Signspotter#19

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 05:23:25 PM »
It is amazing how many stradegies come in to play during a race. I would hate to be the one having to keep up with changing events in order to have a stradegy. As far as seeing Jr., Stewart, Johnson, and Gordon fighting it out at the end, I have yet to see that happen. Two of them maybe. I take that back. At Daytona and Talledaga they used to be the ones fighting it out through the race and especially at the end. In fact one Daytona 500 race they were all up there fighting and Stewart and Johnson tangled and banged on each other pretty bad. They didn't wreck though damnit! I would love to hear your comments on Gordon and Johnson "fighting" for the win. I have plenty to say about that! Loved your article by the way!
"Everyone's invited to the Barn for bologna burgers next Saturday night"

budcar8

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007, 02:08:04 PM »
Welcome to the most elite fans of any sport, Scott!! Glad you found NASCAR. I have been a fan for as long as I can remember.  Your next step is to get to a race.  There is nothing like it.  Glad to have you as part of our NASCAR family.
"All the power in the world can't change destiny"

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007, 02:31:29 PM »
Johnson and Gordon battling it out was great! Take the fact that they are team mates, throw in that Gordon is part owner in Johnson's car...made for an interesting finish. My hubby is a HUGE Gordon fan and was hacked that he didn't dump Johnson. I think it said a lot about Gordon the way he handled the post race interview. Sure he was PO'd (who wouldn't be), he admitted he had the better car but Johnson did what he should have done and held him off. You can't play "buddy-buddy" when you are coming to the checkered flag. It's all or nothing, you don't let someone by you to take the win just because of the personal relationship to each other.

budcar8

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 03:21:19 PM »
Athough I don't care for either Johnson or Gordon I enjoyed the battle at Martinsville.  I have been to a race at that track and it was a blast.  One thing I will say is that I feel that if it was anyh other driver Gordon would have punted them up into the wall. Gordon tried gingerly to get Johnson out of the way but I don't think he wanted Johnson to crash.
"All the power in the world can't change destiny"

Scott

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2007, 05:58:41 PM »
Your next step is to get to a race.

You said it, brotha!

Quack and I were actually going to meet up in Vegas for the race a few week back, but I came down with another case of the poverties. I seem to catch that a lot.
- Scott Spain

budcar8

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 01:40:27 PM »
Scott,  If you decide to get out to the Vegas race next year you will have a blast!! The Neon Garage is great.  We always stay at The Cannery it is close to the track and it is a great hotel/casino.  I think my Uncle just got the notice to buy our tickets.  We usually get the whole package...pit pass, neon garage, busch and cup race and it cost about 300 bucks which isn't too bad.  The hotel runs around 250 for 5 nights but I share a room with my mom.  Being in the military I can't afford to pay for a single.  I save up all year to go to the race but it is so worth it!!!
"All the power in the world can't change destiny"

shadowracerray

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 02:26:44 PM »
If you remember last year at Kansas City MotorSpeedway, gordon, stewart, johnson, ans earnhart all were in the top 5. It was made even more interesting when the new cable driven fuel Pumps started going out on Gordon and Dale. Stewart finished on vapors, and Johnson was cragging a limp wheel.

BobbysGirl

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Re: Did Martinsville Meet My Expecations?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 08:12:29 PM »
I am a relatively new spectator to the NASCAR series.  I have a nephew that is a crew chief for a Busch series car and that piqued my interest.  I have been watching for three years now and I am hooked.  I prefer to watch the Cup series because I am a huge Bobby LaBonte fan and he doesn't drive Busch nearly enough.  I know he has had his day in the sun...and unfortunately I wasn't on board to witness his Series win but I will hang in there with him until he gets a decent ride and returns to glory.
If I ever get to see a race (I saw a Busch race in Milwaukee but never a Cup race) I want it to be Bristol.  I love all that bumping and banging around! 
I experienced the Richard Petty Driving School at Lowes' and it was awesome! 
My friends make fun of my new passion but they are the losers!
So...I am glad to have found this website to share my passion with those who understand!