Author Topic: Happy Father's Day  (Read 9294 times)

Quack

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Happy Father's Day
« on: June 16, 2007, 06:39:01 PM »
For as long as I can remember, NASCAR's Cup Series has always raced at Michigan International Speedway on Father's Day.  I don't recall when or why the tradition began, but I'm glad it's still going strong.  As a kid, I looked forward to sitting down with my dad and watching the Michigan race.  Now, as a dad, I look forward to sitting down with my kids and watching it.

MIS is a really cool horsepower track.  It's also quite wide, and there are plenty of different racing grooves.  On both the front and back straightaways you'll see guys go 4 and 5 cars wide throughout the race.  In the corners, there's plenty of room and plenty of grip to race 3-wide all the way through the corner.  Cars low, cars high, cars in the middle.  All over the place.  Drivers usually love the track because there are so many different lines they can use throughout a fuel run to make their car work.

Year after year, Turn 4 seems to be the make-or-break turn at MIS.  Cars tend to push through four, so guys are often fighting to get their car loosened up on that end of the track.  Even though the car tends to push really hard through the corner, because of the high speeds you'll see cars that will suddenly break loose.  It's kind of an odd characteristic.  You'll hear guys say something like "I'm pushing loose in 4".  It can be a nightmare, for sure.  However, if you can get a great run up off of 4, and you have tons of horsepower, you can really get cranked up coming down the front stretch, hitting speeds over 200 mph as you head into Turn 1.

If you can't get your car loosened up off of 4, you'll likely find yourself in one of two predicaments:

  • falling farther and farther behind the leader as the laps progress because you can't get back to the throttle quick enough, or
  • you'll end up backing it into the fence when the car snaps loose, a result of over-driving an ill-handling race car.

There are exceptions, of course, as Dale Jarrett proved back in 1999.  During the early laps of the race, the 88 car was a nightmare to drive.  That day the Todd Parrott and the UPS crew had prepared the car for Turn 4 a little too well.  It wasn't pushing at all, but rather was so loose that Jarrett couldn't hang on.  In a remarkable display of car control, Dale kept it off of the wall, spinning through the front stretch grass.  Besides the car being too loose to even drive, the front valance was caved in, and they had four flat-spotted tires.  The 88 bunch made several pit stops under the ensuing caution, and fixed all of those problems.  That Father's Day, Dale Jarrett went on to win the race, one of four victories that season on his way to the Winston Cup Championship.

Who to Watch
Who? #25, Casey Mears
Why? While he has never run particularly well at Michigan, Mears does sport a better average finish in his eight MIS starts (21.2) than his career average finish (22.9), including a seventh-place finish in this race last year.  Each of his previous 8 starts at MIS came while driving for Chip Ganassi in the #42.  This year, of course, he's in vastly superior equipment, driving the #25 for Hendrick Motorsports.  A few weeks ago at Charlotte, Casey joined his uncle, Rick Mears, in winning on Memorial Day Weekend.  Could this be the week that he continues in his uncle's footsteps by winning at Michigan?

Who? #83, Brian Vickers
Why? You're probably getting sick of me harping on this guy, but I can't help it.  The kid is for real.  In my opinion, Toyota made a mistake by not labeling Vickers as their "flagship driver".  He has continued to prove all year long that when he's in the race, he is more than likely going to be their standard-bearer.  And yes, he still owns Toyota's -only- Top 5 and Top 10 finishes in the Cup Series, one of which came in the season's second race at California Speedway when he finished tenth.  California Speedway is considered to be Michigan International Speedway's sister track.  They are both D-shaped, 2-mile ovals with similar banking in the corners and the straights.  If you perform well at one, you generally perform well at the other.  Look for the #83 to have a similar finish this weekend as he did in February at California.

Who? #7, Robby Gordon
Why? I'm not really sure.  I just feel like the guy is going to have a great run this weekend.  As mentioned earlier, MIS is a horsepower track, and the #7 should have plenty under the hood, with their engines being supplied by Roush/Yates Engines.  Yates power plants have long been known to have outstanding horsepower.  Gordon has had all sorts of bad luck this year, albeit often of his own doing.  Again, I'm not really sure why, but I think Robby will put up a Top 10 finish this weekend.

Who? #17, Matt Kenseth
Why? Kenseth drives the #17 for Roush Racing.  Ooooops, I forgot.  It's now Roush-Fenway Racing.  (God knows I hate the Red Sox.)  Maybe it's because Ford headquarters are just down the street (figuratively).  Maybe it's because Jack is a Michigan native and has his company headquarters in the state.  I don't proclaim to know, but for whatever reason, Jack Roush's teams always seem to bring their best equipment to Michigan.  Five of the last ten Michigan races have been won by a Roush car, with Kenseth picking up two of those, most recently in August last year.  Matt also won the California race earlier this season, in a car bearing sponsorship from Carhartt, which is the only race thus far this season in which Carhartt has been the primary sponsor on the #17.  Guess who is sponsoring the car this weekend?

Who? #24, Jeff Gordon
Why? 2007 is his year.  Put him in your lineup and just ride.  Oh, by the way, Gordon was the last Chevrolet driver to win at Michigan International Speedway, in June of 2001.  (Six of the last ten MIS races have been won by Ford, with the other four going to Dodge.)

Who's Going to Win
As much as a lot of fans don't want to see it, I really think that Jeff Gordon has a legitimate shot at winning again this weekend.  His cars have been dominant all year long.  He runs extremely well at MIS, with 2 wins, 15 Top 5s, and 19 Top 10s in 28 career Michigan races.  That is a staggering 53.6% of starts with a Top 5 finish, and a mind-blowing 67.9% of starts that end with a Top 10 finish.  I honestly wouldn't bet against him this weekend, because he very well may get win #5 on the season on Sunday.  After all, it'd be a great gift to himself as a Father-to-be, right?  However, I think this weekend will belong to the driver of Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge, Ryan Newman.

Ryan and the #12 crew have been on top of their game of late, with Top 10 finishes in five of the previous six races, including second-place finishes in each of the last two.  As a matter of fact, last week at Pocono, had the rain held off long enough for the race to have gone another lap, it would have been the #12 in Victory Lane instead of Gordon and the Dupont Chevrolet team.  Ryan tried really hard to get past the #24, but couldn't quite pull off the pass before the clouds opened up.  Afterward, he was really upbeat and happy to have yet another Top 5 in the books, and to have moved up again in the points.

Like Gordon and Kenseth, Flyin' Ryan has two wins at Michigan.  In June of 2004, after starting 4th on the grid, Ryan used great fuel mileage to his advantage and picked up his first of two wins on the season after taking the checkers in the DHL 400.  Guess where Newman starts Sunday.  Fourth.  Same start, same result.  Look for Ryan "The Rocket" Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge in Victory Lane this weekend.

Happy racing.


canuck speed freak

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 06:49:49 PM »
I think that seals my starting driver in fantasy. Thanx Quack
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caboolarue

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 10:24:57 PM »
Happy Father's Day to all Father's.  I am so thankful to you all, you are the opposite of us women and give us what we need.
On a personal note:  Six years ago today my husband was diagnosed with cancer and is still with me today.  Each day is precious to us and our children.  But, Father's Day is a special Day to remember the great and wonderful things this man has done for me and my children.  I lost my Father in a tragic car accident Seven years ago. So if your Father is around let him know how much you appreciate him.  If he isn't thank the Father's who are here.  One thing I know about Father's they will give to you before they take for themselves. There is no better feeling than that. THANK YOU ALL.

Quack

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 10:34:45 PM »
Thanks caboo.  God bless you and your family.  :)

canuck speed freak

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 10:46:10 PM »
My thanks as well caboo. We all appreciate the thoughts.
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#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 05:28:50 AM »
Thank you for sharing Cab. I plan to spend a few hours with my dad tomorrow (can't wait). He was in a horrible motorcycle accident one year ago in May and we weren't sure he'd make it. He's with us today (minus one leg) and I am eternally grateful to have him around.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL THE DAD'S IN HERE!!!

Quack

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 07:12:42 PM »
So, I guess I will grade myself here on how I did...

Who to Watch
Who? #25, Casey Mears

Finished 4th after running in the Top 10 all day long, and in the Top 5 for most of the day.

Who to Watch
Who? #83, Brian Vickers

While he ended up finishing 41st (60 laps down), it was none of his own doing.  He ran in the Top  5 for most of the first 74 laps.  He was just about as strong as the #1 and #99 cars until he was taken out in the Lap 74 caution.  I was looking really smart until Newman took him out.

Who to Watch
Who? #7, Robby Gordon

Man, he *almost* did it.  Robby brought the #7 car home in 13th Place, 1 lap down.

Who to Watch
Who? #17, Matt Kenseth

Newman took him out.  Finished 42nd, 121 laps down.

Who to Watch
Who? #24, Jeff Gordon

Took a horribly handling car and drove it to a 9th place finish.  When you finish 9th in a car that is impossible to drive, you know it's your year.

Who's Going to Win
I think this weekend will belong to the driver of Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Dodge, Ryan Newman.

Who really knows how good his car was?  On Lap 12, during a commercial (it's TNT, duh!), he had a left rear tire go down.  The carcass wrapped around the rear housing, causing him to lose 3 laps before they could get the new tire on.  I can only guess that his crew chief and/or spotter forgot to tell him how early in the race it was, and that he had plenty of time to get his laps back, because Ryan started driving like it was the last 5 laps of the race.  His sense of urgency ruined not only his day, but several other contenders as well.  The #12 finished 37th, 4 laps off the pace.

Signspotter#19

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2007, 08:49:11 PM »
So tell me Quack, are you gaining or loosing weight on all that crow you have been eating lately? :-*
"Everyone's invited to the Barn for bologna burgers next Saturday night"

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 09:55:41 PM »
Dang it all to heck. Thanks Newman, he really screwed me this week. I dropped 10, 699 spots today (from 7,465 to 18,164) Grrrr.....

1_Newman_Fan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2007, 09:58:34 PM »
Dang it all to heck. Thanks Newman, he really screwed me this week. I dropped 10, 699 spots today (from 7,465 to 18,164) Grrrr.....
wow not newman it was #66 its all him not my boy newman..

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 10:00:42 PM »
wow not newman it was #66 its all him not my boy newman..

Sorry sweetie, it was Newman. Dang him for taking out Kenseth. Had that not happened I might have only lost 10,000 spots. lol

1_Newman_Fan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 10:11:21 PM »
nope its the 66 its his bad driving all him yep lol

caboolarue

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2007, 11:20:02 PM »
I feel like a dumb @$$ here, who is 66.  Plus I didn't get to see much of the race today, due to Commercials, Kids, Fathers Day, I was so confused when the race was over, If Carl hadn't done his flip, I don't think I would have believed he won.

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 12:07:06 AM »
Jeff Green is #66...bone head move on his part. I still blame Newman for Kenseth!

1_Newman_Fan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 12:11:19 AM »
UGGGGG!! grumbles under breth and puts tape on his mouth....Damn green rumble rumble.... :-X

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2007, 12:18:05 AM »
LMAO @ Chris! Just because I gained a bit o' respect for Newman doesn't mean I like the guy, don't necessarily dislike him but I'm not a fan of his. That's what is so great here, we all like different drivers and still get along beautifully (most of the time).  ;)

1_Newman_Fan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2007, 12:29:43 AM »
its ok i love ya any way(MMMUUUHHHAAA) my guy doing loops on the track tiers coming off and you're guy with no ass ummm gas..lol...puts tape back on mouth.. :-X

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2007, 12:31:01 AM »
If that damn Reutiman would have moved my guy would have made it to the pits to get fuel (and he has a rather nice a$$, tyvm) lol

MUAH right back at ya!

caboolarue

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2007, 12:38:42 AM »
(and he has a rather nice a$$, tyvm) lol

Oh Yes, he does, I may not like him, but he does look good in that suite. Not very many drivers do that well either, but he my friend can pull it off.

1_Newman_Fan

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Re: Happy Father's Day
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2007, 12:43:01 AM »
OMG im not talking about a guys butt... ;)