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est. October 4, 2006

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Cheers and Jeers

Come Helton or High Water
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By Carol Einarsson | 05/24/2016
Category: Cheers and Jeers
 

SPRINT SHOWDOWN: 

CHEERS to a nice shout-out to Len Wood, NASCAR's Thomas Edison. I think that museum might well be on my racing bucket list. What a very nice thing to have them racing full time this year, and we're looking forward to Ryan Blaney's first win, taking the Wood Bros back to Victory Lane! 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson, Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney for the great group of Young Guns 2.0, and racing well enough to get TV time. It seems week after week, we're watching these four, and it's refreshing! Someone asked me recently when the last time we had a rookie class the likes of Elliott and Blaney, and I honestly couldn't remember when. 

CHEERS to Michael McDowell not hitting anything, but more importantly, keeping that car moving through the grass! Get stuck there, and you'll be waiting for the wrecker -- or a row boat. Not to mention, if you do get a wrecker, you're gonna have to get out of your car and stand in that swampy grass! 

CHEERS to using segment one to plan your segment two strategy! Get tires at the end of this race and you'll be in a better position for next race. Still not as clever as Frankie Stoddard's pit ploy years ago, but impressive. 

CHEERS to the sound of Ryan Blaney's voice as he's just shocked that someone would push him! "I've got a lot going on!" 

CHEERS to Trevor Bayne's pass for the win, and getting the segment one trophy!  Not a lot of fanfare, no team "woos", no hat dance, but a trophy and a pretty girl handing it to him for a picture to be taken. Makes you remember when that was the whole thing for the winner every week, doesn't it? 

JEERS to lug nuts still an issue, and a car with only four lugs touching the wheel. Was that memo and team-meeting reminder vague in some way? 

JEERS to "something being wrong with Austin Dillon's car.." that seemed to somehow correct itself. That's what's called "Driver Error", Jeff. 

CHEERS to Greg Biffle, winner segment two. Cheese it is! 

CHEERS to Chase Elliott driving to win. Passing on the outside, blazing by a handful of cars, and top to bottom in what Tony Stewart surely would have called another sexy move! 

CHEERS to the 24 and 42 battling, banging doors, and NOT wrecking! This is for a million bucks! Gosh it's nice to see young guys racing for racing's sake and for the love of racing! If every week could be like this week, NASCAR would be back in top form in no time flat! THIS is what race fans want to see! 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson willing to bend up his car for a win! Everything is better when you take the points out of it, and Larson shows that he wants respect of his fellow competitors, but yet in an exhibition race like this, and with a million dollars on the line, he can shove guys with the best of 'em! 


ALL STAR RACE

CHEERS to "Come Helton or high water..." Why have we never heard that before? 

JEERS to TWO fan vote entries for the race. When did we start that -- when it was clear Danica wasn't going to win if there was just one? That said, CHEERS to what might be the return of Bill Elliott's voting fan base. Question now is, can they beat Junior Nation and get Chase Elliott named Most Popular Driver? 

CHEERS to the best driver introductions all year for including the whole crew. It's always what I think of as the best day in racing for all the moms of crewmen. It's the day when they tell their friends that their boy's going to be on TV, and you be sure to watch! 

CHEERS to all the teams throwing out hats and Coke to the fans, but what's with the 78 team? Nothin'. We got no Coke, no hats, nothin' for you. Here, slap my hand and call yourself lucky. 

CHEERS to Jimmie Johnson giving a fan a HELMET!! Wow! I watched it a couple of different times and can't decide if he was looking specifically for that girl, or if he was just looking for a kid, and she was there. Either way, that little girl couldn't have been more in shock, and what a great moment to see on camera. 

JEERS to the Arris team uniforms. Those are some ugly poo-colored suits right there. 

CHEERS to Bryson Byrnes and his million-dollar suitcase! Boy, his dad would be proud of him tonight!!  And when you can make Tony Stewart laugh out loud like that? Yeah, you've got it!!  The only Michael Waltrip I know is a dancer, "I know, and he wasn't even that good at dancing in the first place." Boom! 

CHEERS to the best invocation of the whole year, when we get to have Joe Gibbs pray for us. No agenda for sponsors or NASCAR or anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ! 

CHEERS to Caleb Johnson and a fine rendition of the national anthem. Did he take more liberties with it than I prefer? Maybe. But with what NASCAR has dealt us lately, I think we should start grading on curve. 

CHEERS to Denny's daughter singing along, too, and the proud dad look on his face. What a sweet moment! I hope she gets to stand up front at Bristol in August, and with a microphone right in front of her! 

CHEERS to the command to start engines by Tony Stewart. That was delightfully.... nothing. Polar opposite of Batman. Understated beyond belief, but 100% Tony. No fan fare, just flip your switch. No drama, just start your engines. And an attitude of "Do I really have to tell you? It's not like you don't know what to do. So just do it." 

CHEERS to Kevin Harvick bringing another fast car to the track. I wonder if there were any changes made on his crew this week, even if it was only caffeine. 

JEERS to cloudy rules. You have to pit under green before lap 47, but then there's a yellow and pit road is closed, so..... I'm not sure I agree with penalizing the team for not pitting, given the circumstances, but it's also one of those times where you look at one team that's being penalized and say, if everyone else managed to do it, why didn't you? If NASCAR said they'd red-flag a caution so there'd still be green flag laps available to pit, and then they went back on their word, that's a whole different issue, and certainly not unprecedented, though.   

CHEERS to "It's unbelievable they'd bring the whole field down pit road to look at lug nuts. Next they'll start calling time outs in football games to check everybody's shoelaces." Hush, now, or you'll give them ideas! 

CHEERS to Saturday night full-moon racing! 

CHEERS to the days of telling a driver he can't pit "because we're having ice cream." - Harry Hyde to driver Benny Parsons. Oh to turn back the clock to a simpler time...

CHEERS to Kyle Larson dirt-tracking his way through a weepy track! When he finally wins, I think we should all make a point to remember where we were, because he drives like a champion, and just waiting on that first domino, I've a feeling there will be a long and storied career of success for this young man. 

CHEERS to Kyle Busch capitalizing on a slow car and passing a mess of cars when Denny was slow. And now the Busch boys are together near the front? In a non-points race?? Boys have at it! 

JEERS to a mess caused by Chase Elliott trying to pit. I don't know how it all got so ugly so fast, but when the rules are as messy as they are, and a team tries something innovative by unpredictably pitting just after a restart, there's gonna be trouble... I never saw a hand up or out, but even if he had signaled, it was so unexpected, I wonder if anyone would have known that's what he was planning. 

JEERS to a hard hit for Tony Stewart, but seeing him jump out of his car by himself was a relief. Sometimes a guy will climb out, but that most definitely was a jump. No slowness, no limping, no holding anything that seemed to be sore. 

CHEERS to Chase Elliott who very nearly Juan-Pablo'd the jet dryer, but managed to avoid it. Whew, that was close! 

CHEERS to Kurt Busch tipping his hand, and telling the world his team's secret plan. "We weren't gonna talk about that, but yeah.." CHEERS also to his quick response, "Spoiler alert!" And his secret plan turned out to be the same idea as five other teams. 

CHEERS to dumb luck. Kyle Busch serves a speeding penalty and comes out in 13th, which will put him in front (or close to it) for the restart of the final segment. I don't think it was on purpose, but had it been Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, I'd likely feel differently. Anyone doubt Chad would have thought of such a thing? 

CHEERS to Michael Waltrip getting Greg Olson's autograph on the #11 card, and asking him to sign it "To Jimmie".  That was sweet, and if Jimmie wins, what a cool thing to have. Sure, the money and trophy will be fun, too, but that lucky draw card should be pretty special. 

JEERS to catching a driver, still, without a lug nut touching the wheel. And it's a Gibbs car AGAIN! 

CHEERS to remembering the 100% rule! We'd forgotten about that, hadn't we? But if we apply that rule, I'd say Jimmie was the only one trying 100% to win. 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson taking command of the restart, and flying past the leaders like he's just been waiting for the right moment. 

CHEERS to Trevor Bayne racing like never before, and using the back of his car to push guys? How is he doing that without wrecking himself?? Kids these days. 

CHEERS to Joey winning for Penske in a car decorated with historical Penske moments. Here's one to add, Roger. Happy 50th year! 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson, at 23 years old, bitterly disappointed, but able to give a great post-race interview. So now we know it's not the name that makes a guy a sore loser. 

JEERS to no towels for the non-winners. Nobody could give sweaty Trevor even a Wypall Wiper? 

CHEERS to Junior able to diplomatically say that NASCAR was confused, "It's just they were doin' it unlike any other way I'd seen 'em do it before... I'm sure they ran into some scenarios tonight they weren't anticipating."

And finally,

JEERS to complete confusion, and no idea what's going on. When the booth doesn't even know how many laps some guys have completed, and the leader is taken off the track to leave tail-end-of-lead-lap cars behind the pace car, and the inherited leader is back in the pack... it's a mess. Gordon decided they don't a wave-around in this race, but I think they would have, if those drivers had "earned" the wave-around by virtue of being in front of the leader. I think it was already after the time the wave-around would have occurred, when they pulled the leader off, thus creating guys on the tail end of the lead lap who were actually lapped cars. Still, a mess. Drivers calling crew chiefs who also don't know, and everyone left wondering if anyone at NASCAR thought this through for more than 30 seconds. It was a mess AND an embarrassment for NASCAR.
 



ICYMI:
Check out Dave's article from yesterday,
"Who's On First?"



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Comments:
Bill B
05/24/2016 7:26 am (1)
Matt Kenseth's shoelace analogy while funny was not applicable. There is no rule in football that states shoelaces need to be tied (that I know of). Now maybe footballs being properly inflated....
Bobby
05/24/2016 10:01 am (2)
The second fan vote was an EIRI situation as a result of Jeff Gordon's retirement (he was one of the 16 All Star exemptions for this race). That could have been avoided if we had a new winner this season (re: Larson).

JEERS to Danielle Trotta's dress and heels. This is a NASCAR paddock and some things are not appropriate for a paddock (safety).

JEERS to the confusion at the end of Segment 1. Should have been legitimately pitted cars wave-around the illegitimate leader, then run pit stops for everyone else, then force Kenseth to take the start, get the black flag, make him pit on Lap 1 or 2, then be forced to do a second full pit stop before the Lap 35 rule. It was the Jeff Burton Incident at XVIII all over again!

JEERS to Greg Biffle for causing the wreck. Had the safety car been longer NASCAR should have stretched the Lap 35 limit to 5-10 laps after the green flag.

Imagine what would have happened if a Safety Car happened at Lap 5 or 6 during the 13-lap sprint. Jimmie would have stolen it away with new tyres midway through.

JEERS to the Red Lions. How much more snakebit have they been? Missing, Commodores!
possum
05/24/2016 3:53 pm (3)
@ Carol: you wrote "When he [Larson] finally wins, I think we should all make a point to remember where we were, because he drives like a champion, and just waiting on that first domino, I've a feeling there will be a long and storied career of success for this young man."

I am reminded of another driver we said that of, some years back, who didn't get his first win until his third year in Cup. Rusty Wallace ended up having a pretty decent career.

John
Bill B
05/24/2016 6:11 pm (4)
The question I have about Kyle Larson and the level of success he can reach is, can he do it with a second level team. Let's face it, Childress, Ganassi and even Roush aren't exactly racking up the wins.
allisong
05/24/2016 9:02 pm (5)
The second fan vote was actually a result of them mandating a minimum 20 car field for the All-Star race. So in theory, we could see 3 or 4 fan vote winners if the number of race winners is exceptionally low over a year or two.

A car can only take the wave around if they don't pit, so since in this race everyone HAD to pit, the normal way of waving around wasn't available.
sealevel
05/24/2016 9:50 pm (6)
Thank you Carol for your writeups.
Man, stop the madness, will miss Tony S,
it was not an all star race, just another
checkmark for nascar stupid, sad.
grumpyone
05/26/2016 5:09 pm (7)
JEERS and the ratings slide continues for NASCAR who seem inept to do anything about it. This was the lowest rated race in almost 14 years. How far has NASCAR fallen when they need to think that Danica in a race to put butts in the seats. Guess what, that ain't working either. She is a fraud.

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