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est. October 4, 2006

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Cheers and Jeers

100 Penske Wins, Give or Take Jeremy Mayfield
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By Carol Einarsson | 07/05/2016
Category: Cheers and Jeers
 




CHEERS to driver introductions. We love seeing driver dads with kids hanging off their hips and sitting atop their shoulders. And we're pretty sure the kids love that, too!
 
JEERS to Daytona Rising, a $400 million investment to basically reduce the number of seats at the speedway so it doesn't look as empty. And there's the added built-in excuse that with all the "neighborhoods" they built below the grandstand, that when the seats are empty, it's because race fans are visiting with each other down there. Right. And they're shopping at Fontana.
 
JEERS to the sync being off with NBC's sound. It's tempting to excuse it as their first race of the season, but it's not like it's their first day doing a live sporting event, right? 
 
CHEERS to the possibility of Junior tying his dad for plate wins. It's always hard being the offspring of one so wildly successful in his profession, so for Junior to catch ANY of his dad's records would surely be a special day. I'm reminded of how competitive they were together, each claiming to be just a hair taller than the other. I think if Junior tied the old man's record and he were here to see it, we'd see a mix of ornery dismissive smirk, and a father bursting with pride.  

CHEERS to Ken Squier and his ability to tell a story, but JEERS to the inclusion of so many bad memories. Can you tell the story of the July 2001 win without telling of the February tragedy? Not really. But can you do it without the video of the all-but last split second of the video? Surely. Can you do it without the captured moment when Schrader is telling Mikey what's happened? Or without the photo of Michael's head down in despair? Yes, I think you can. I think there is enough talent at NBC and in Ken Squier to be able to gently tell the story of the loss without so many wound-opening visuals. I accept that piece would likely, any way told, leave me wiping away tears, but we'd hoped it would be the tears of Junior having overcome at Daytona in July, and not so much about what was lost five months before. 

CHEERS to one of the best quotes ever in NASCAR. If, after all of his years in the sport, Allen Bestwick is remembered for nothing else, it should be the checkered flag moment at Daytona in July of 2001, "It's going to be Dale Earnhardt Jr, using lessons learned from his father to go from sixth to first and score the victory in the Pepsi 400!" 

CHEERS to reliving all the hugs... the rooftop moment for the DEI drivers, Ken Schrader, Chocolate Meyers... I wish I'd known the replay was going to be on, because I'd have loved to watch it all over again. Even just reading Junior's tweets the next day that he'd posted as he watched it, I could see the moments in my head.

CHEERS to Ronnie Barton of First Baptist Church. "One nation under God," and "In Jesus' name we pray." That right there is America!

CHEERS to BabyKyBu who looks exactly like Austin Dillon. Not sure if that's bad for the baby or a testament to the face of Austin Dillon. 
 
CHEERS to the US ARMY Maneuver Center of Excellence Band from Fort Benning GA for an anthem as it ought always be. Military presentations are the only ones on which we can fully rely... so long as the sound isn't ruined by the track or TV network. And this one wasn't! 

CHEERS to Denny's daughter, growing up too fast, but wearing her father's eyes.  

CHEERS to the BEST FLAG IN NASCAR!!  Yes, I know I've said that about Talladega, and they definitely have the "Best Flag on a Pole" in NASCAR, but the best flag overall has to be the one pulled out on the infield of Daytona International Speedway every July. I've seen photos taken underneath that grand banner, and there is just nothing that compares. 

JEERS to time marching on. Anyone else think Kurt Busch is looking .... aged?  At least he can count on his ears not to sag as he gets older.

CHEERS to the F-16s from the 93rd Fighter Squadron at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. Yes, I paused the race to get that whole description. We love the F-16s!  If it's not inappropriate, we'll go so far as to say they're sexy!
 
CHEERS to Dave Burns, our favorite NBC pit reporter. 
 
CHEERS to the Coke Zero 400 uniformed heroes being honored, but again, a command in unison is never really in unison. 
 
CHEERS to Row 16, Bobby Labonte! 
 
CHEERS to the way Junior talks with his hands when they're talking to him in-car, and how close his hand comes to the camera. I almost feel a flinch coming on, anticipating he's gonna pop me in the face!
 
CHEERS to the flags in the stands... "pay respect with reverence and gratitude." We like that. 
 
CHEERS to the track feed, and no interruptions from the booth. That was very nice. Respectful, and with reverence and gratitude, even! 
 
CHEERS to "And the green flag is in the air!" followed by silence in the booth. Thank you, Rick Allen, for the proper way to start a race. Let it speak for itself, because the EVENT is the star of the show, not the broadcasters.
 
JEERS to another failed Colonel. If I was in advertising, I'd sure want to work for KFC, because apparently there's nothing you can do that will get you fired. We're now seeing the Colonel's bare chest? Sigh.
 
JEERS to no power in the 38, but at least it's well-timed to be the competition caution. In fact, let's just pretend there is no fake caution and we'll call it a Landon Cassill caution. But then he gets a free pass because he didn't really bring it out? That's just silly. 
 
CHEERS to a gorgeous sunset!!
 
JEERS to a pit road stack-up because one guy isn't properly in his own box. 
 
CHEERS to an explanation of why the 48 crew had too many men over the wall. THAT is what you call a good investment. Credit Chad Knaus knowing when to take a penalty for the greater good. Big picture racing. 
 
CHEERS to Jamie McMurray, where he always is in a plate race, up near the front, hanging out in the top five or six. 
 
CHEERS to the paint on the 48. Not as many patriotic schemes as I thought we'd see this weekend, so the Lowe's team stands out all the more.
 
CHEERS to Marty, talking about Stenhouse, "They made progress backwards." They did what? And I can't help it, but every time I see Marty in the pits, I still hear Blondie's voice beckoning him, "Moooorty...!"
 
JEERS to "Holy heck, my foot hurts!" Any money that's not exactly what Harvick said?  And if you saw his blisters from last week, you may even grant him a little more leniency in the foul language department. That looked crazy painful!

JEERS to too many thoughts in that big one to write in any reasonable order, so as they fell out of my fingers onto my keyboard, here's just a pile of observations:

  • Jamie McMurray was clearly the catalyst. Did he get bumped? Yes. But despite all the words to follow, I really did see this as "one of them racin' deals." 
  • Danica nearly got through it without touching or being touched, as she often does. Do I think she'll win a race? Nope. Do I think she has trouble passing guys? Oh, every week! But do I see in her an area in which she excels above all the other drivers on the track? Absolutely! Say what you will, but this girl can weave! Whether it's reflexes gained in open-wheel racing, or what it might be, but when cars are wrecking crazy like that around her, and she wasn't involved in the initial cause, she more often than not is able to weave about and emerge from the carnage. Maybe it's a girl thing, going back to how we were created with that natural "mom multi-tasking" thing, able to keep track of many children at once, and the "eyes in the back of our heads" instinct. 
  • Holy crap, Brian Scott is ON TOP OF Kevin Harvick! I bet all he can see is race track, and all Kevin can see is a tire in his windshield. Y'know, when you go to the media photographers meeting, they always tell you to respect the teams technological privacy and don't take pictures of the underside of the car. I wonder if Harvick was studying what he saw. Probably not, and for many (obvious) reasons. 
  • What a testament to the hood tethers when, even with a car on top of his, the hood of the #4 stayed attached!
  • I'm already on record as calling this a product of plate racing. It happens. But with that said, why was Jimmie even there?? He didn't have enough room between JMac and Kyle Larson to fit his car, even with the best-case scenario of Jamie holding his high line and not moving. When Jimmy put his car up there like that, SOMEone was going to wreck -- we just didn't know which of the three it would be. Maybe Jamie got loose next to Larson, but would his car have been that unstable if not for the surprise of Jimmie being where he wasn't expected? 
  • How 'bout that Kyle Larson? Slammed by his teammate, and carrying on marching forward as if nothing happened!
  • The official looked stunned that he was pulling out a hunk of sheet metal from the styrofoam wall. It had to have looked like a Chinese death star flying through the air before slicing into that foam! 

CHEERS to the Kevin Harvick interview, "You really think it's gonna happen starting about lap one." 

JEERS to 19 cars involved, but what's that? Tony was still riding around the back?  I'm not a fan of that tactic no matter how many times I see it done, and I wonder about the "giving it your best" rule in NASCAR, but there's no arguing that staying in the back of the wrecking pack was definitely giving it his best to be there at the end. 

CHEERS to Bobby Labonte also being among the wreck survivors!  

JEERS to the uneasy feeling with 22 to go. Sure, the field is greatly thinned, but there are still enough cars to make an ugly situation.
 
CHEERS to Tony having made his move, and showing up near the front. Will you look at that?
 
CHEERS to a commercial for Ninja Warrior, a show I've never heard of before, but appears to be Wipeout for fit people.  I think I'd still rather watch Wipeout, though. Big Red Balls, baby!
 
JEERS to Tony in the wall, but CHEERS that there's nobody to blame.  I don't think I've ever seen a front end separate like that before, though. And any time Tony over-corrects and puts his own car into the wall, don't you think it was out of fear of being plowed by the whole field? Maybe it was selfless to not wreck anyone else, or maybe it was simple self-preservation. The known vs the unknown. Hit the wall - we've done that lots of times. Spin in front of a pack of cars doing upwards of 190? Anything can happen, and it can hurt a lot worse!
 
CHEERS to BK on his strategy, "I'm gonna keep it up front. I hear if you lead the last lap you win the race."
 
CHEERS to the replay of Kyle Busch's wall slam from practice only because it was evident what saved his life... That story can't be told often enough. The REAL legacy of Dale Earnhardt is not in his wins or championships. It's not in his ability to see the wind, or his outspoken ways. It's not in his intimidation, or even in his children. His legacy is the lives that have been saved because his was lost. 
 
CHEERS to David Gilliland spending time with his racing son who IS a winner... well that's a nice thing to say, though amusing how it was said. 
 
JEERS to restarting with a frightening amount of laps remaining. This is not going to be the last restart, I fear.
 
JEERS to Carl in the wall, and taking out Bobby. But all in all, Bobby finished ahead of Tony and a ton of other guys. And maybe he can avoid the last wreck which I think may be yet to come. 
 
CHEERS to TJ Majors getting Junior through that mess, unscathed.
 
CHEERS to talking to Tony, but anyone else notice his beard has now grown up his cheek nearly to his right eye? And when I first saw him Saturday, I wondered when the last time was he shaved. Friday night, maybe? 
 
CHEERS to Cole Whitt in 10th! Four to go, and all night I've been looking for an unlikely winner that we could see in Victory Lane. Cole Whitt would fit the bill. 

CHEERS to seeing Kurt and Kyle side by side. That's gotta be the best thing for any driver to see, whether he's behind them or in front of them. Brothers just ought to play better together than those two brothers do, but neither one is ever able to concede to the other. Compete until we crash, and one of us will. If they'd stuck together, we could have seen brothers finish 1-2, but since neither one can bear to let the other be the 1, the other can't ever be the 2 in that scenario. 

CHEERS though to Brad Keselowski for a successful block at a plate race! It's one thing to block for the win... it's another to block TWO lanes for the win. But it's a whole other level to be able to block two lanes, each led by a guy named Busch, and still win -- without being wrecked by either one of them! That may be a greater achievement in racing than winning at Daytona. 

JEERS to seeing Kurt Busch flying off the track that way. He pondered earlier about why he can't win restrictor plate races, and I firmly believe that nobody can win an RP race if he isn't liked and respected by his peers. I'm just not sure Kurt is. I think he had a marginal amount of peer support after the false allegations from his nut-case ex, but maybe that's worn off.  

CHEERS to Trevor Bayne, finishing third! Not bad, but we're still hoping for much bigger success for this young man than one great win the day after his 20th birthday. 

JEERS to not just running like crap, but running like DOG crap. That sounds extra bad.
 
And finally, 

CHEERS to a well-anchored American Flag shoved in the 2 car to celebrate a win, and a patriotic weekend. Very nice, BK! And Penske's 100th win? Quite a day, indeed! And in case you're wondering about the numbers, it's only "sort of" the 100th win for Penske. Really, it's #97 because three wins by Jeremy Mayfield are credited to Michael Kranefuss as team owner.  
 



  On my mind this week:  Deuteronomy 28:1-14  





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Comments:
SrRaceFan
07/05/2016 9:10 am (1)
CHEERS to one of your best columns ever, Carol! You hit every important action and detail - and I love your attitude!

CHEERS to all the old memories brought up in this race - from an age when racing was really racing.

JEERS to the many, many commercials shown, especially the creepy KFC ones. If we chugged half a beer for every commercial, we'd have been dead drunk on the floor by Lap 17...

possum
07/05/2016 1:04 pm (2)
Quote of the week, courtesy of Matt Kenseth:

"Just a bunch of cars crashing. That was about it."

CHEERS to NBC, for a side-by-side with a window for the race big enough to actually see the race (unlike FOX's tiny little postage stamp window).

JEERS to NBC, for making us watch pretty much the entire second half of the race in side-by-side.

JEERS to the extra-creepy Colonel.

John
Reveen
07/05/2016 2:06 pm (3)
JEERS to nobody having a sense of humour with having George Hamilton as the Extra Crispy Colonel! Brilliant advertising and his best part since Evel Knievel hehe! :)
FordDude
07/05/2016 8:11 pm (4)
Not a JEER or a CHEER, just a point. Even though I'm a Logano fan I don't think he has a lot of respect or love from his peers yet he has 2 restrictor plate wins. With that, I doubt that not being liked or respected has kept Kurt Busch from winning one.
Carol
07/06/2016 3:54 am (5)
Reveen,
I mentioned at the time that KFC was going for a George Hamilton look, thinking that there was no way that was actually him. I thought he was too old by now, but you're 100% right, that's him. I'm not sure that's any better. The Colonel is The Colonel and I hate that they've made him a ridiculous caricature like this, which IMO only came about as an attempted cover story for their pedophile colonel that started this campaign. It's a multi-million dollar mask for "Oh, I meant to do that." They need to just go to KY, find an old guy that plays Santa every December, and hire him to be The Colonel. Authentic.

C
grumpyone
07/06/2016 7:45 am (6)
Just one JEERS to Joey for being an idiot. Wonder why he is disliked in the garage area? This is a prime example. He needs to engage his brain on occasion and Saturday night was one of those occasions. Have been a Lagono defender but not in this incident. You know what they say about paybacks and he is owed one by KB for sure. Be interesting to see where it happens.
sk8nshoot1
07/06/2016 10:08 am (7)
I thought the quote of the day was Brian Scott, after being checked out and comes out to talk to the media after the wreck and notes (paraphrased) "we were in the middle of it and all of a sudden it got quiet and I realized I wasn't on the ground..."
stacey963
07/06/2016 4:03 pm (8)
Thanks, Carol, for pointing out the sound being off. I just thought it was me, whew!

Loved the anthem. They need to stick with the military bands entirely and leave out the singers who only care about showboating. Wonderful! Also, I loved all the patriot aspects of this race. Another reason (though they are dwindling) why I love NASCAR.

George Hamilton as the colonel - I recognized his voice before I saw him. If anyone can pull off extra crispy, it's him! He's testament that the sun doesn't always cause skin cancer.

Ok, so I'm showing my age I know....I for the most part despise the burnouts. I sorely miss the old days of a driver respectfully taking it to Victory Lane. That being said, I tolerate it. But there's something about a burnout with an American flag that just doesn't sit with me. Am I wrong??

I checked out the Deuteronomy chapter, THANK YOU! Much needed today, Carol!
clyde
07/06/2016 4:55 pm (9)
Thanks a bunch, Reveen and Stacey;Thought I was the only one who recognized George H. KFC got their point across. Look at the folks who really looked at the ad. The anthem was great, it's about time. Joey just can't seem to learn that what goes around, comes around..................
grumpyone
07/07/2016 8:21 am (10)
Clyde, bet Kurt Bush won't forget. This will be interesting and he really does owe Joey one for being an idiot.
sealevel
07/07/2016 7:58 pm (11)
Nice writeup Carol, thanks!
Right with grumpyone on the end.
I'm watching 1998 dega from my
archive, full stands, pro's in the
booth,commercials every 15min,
#3 up the middle at the beginning,
damn it was what made it work, not
anymore,sad.
Reveen
07/09/2016 10:43 pm (12)
Carol

Definitely all creepy Colonels. The quick transitions thru KFC Colonels and commercials soften the blow of commercial breaks during races which usually bombard me with the usual routine annoyances.

The original Colonel rules, and I've always been fascinated that in 1964 he sold his US KFC rights then moved up here to Canada and spent a great portion of his time here until his death in 1980. Its bizarre to think a living legend had a modest home just a few kilometres from me in the city I was growing up in in the 70s.

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