Race Journal Online
est. October 4, 2006

"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair."
-David Poole

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2016 Champion
Jimmie Johnson




2016 Race Winners

Denny Hamlin (2)
Jimmie Johnson (2)
Brad Keselowski (4)
Kevin Harvick (2)
Kyle Busch (4)
Carl Edwards (2)
Matt Kenseth (2)
Martin Truex (2)
Kurt Busch
Joey Logano
Tony Stewart
Chris Buescher
Kyle Larson





Please keep
Karen and Bryson Byrnes
in your daily prayers.
#ByrnesStrong

"When Steve and I were done talking, I felt happier."
-Kenny Wallace, summing it up perfectly for every person who ever met Steve Byrnes.



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Cheers and Jeers

A Baker's Dozen if You Count the Cadaver
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By Carol Einarsson | 10/04/2016
Category: Cheers and Jeers
 




CHEERS to Carter McMurray! Wow, is he a natural or what? "Yeah, our car's fast..." I love him!

CHEERS to the military presence at Dover. It's one of the best parts of the race!

CHEERS to Hazel waving her little hand on a parade lap with Dad and brother Carter. How cute was that?

CHEERS to a Kyle Busch photo bomb. For a moment there, he was almost likable. 

JEERS to a cadaver knee?! What? Holy Crap!!  I did a Google search and yes, that's a real thing! I guess I always thought any sort of knee replacement was done with fake parts. And Krista said it so casually like, of course it's a cadaver knee! 

CHEERS to Easton Corbin for his presentation of the national anthem. Wow! I was NOT expecting that! The twang that came out of his mouth, and an old-school twang at that! Very nice!

CHEERS to Joe Walsh, but wow.. I was going to question his assertion that life's been good, but then I realized he'll be 70 next year. Man, we're old.

JEERS to empty stands at Dover. So many of them, and it was a double-header, even. I suppose by the time anyone knew it was a BOGO sale on tickets, it was too late. But Dover knows how many seats were sold. Why not get yourselves some buses and fill those stands with military and military families? And first-responders and families, while you're at it? When people get into an event for free, they spend more on concessions, so it's unlikely the track would lose a penny in giving away all those seats for free. And good grief, you can't just GIVE Truex 150 seats for his friends and family? I hope by "buy", he meant "buy at a substantial discount" at least.

JEERS to Tony in brown. That just looks weird. Has he ever had a brown sponsor like that before? He looked a little like the poop emoji. 

CHEERS to the shock in Chad Knaus' voice when Earl Barber told him the 41 was fast. "The 41??" Yes, you heard him right.

JEERS to a "blown tire" report for Kevin Harvick. Were we watching the same car? And who goes to the garage for a blown tire? 

CHEERS to what seems to be the broadcast motto of Steve Letarte: If it can be explained, it can be OVER-explained. Maybe Junior's at the track so he can enjoy the race and the sound of the cars without having to listen to his friend Stevie. Do you imagine he talked that incessantly as Junior's crew chief? Maybe that's the real reason he was able to get Junior out of his coach and doing things like going to local malls and such... "Fine! Anything to shut you up!" 

JEERS to a broken track bar on the 4 car, but CHEERS to Zippy in the garage helping out!

JEERS to more ridiculous chatter from the booth. The 3 car evidently won't turn in the corners. As opposed to turning in the straights, you mean?

JEERS to Ryan Blaney in the wall, but at least he hit the SAFER barrier. Barely. Did you see all that concrete wall without anything on it, though?

CHEERS to Chad in pink! We'll especially appreciate this when we get further into October and so many teams (minus Hendrick) roll out pink paint schemes. And this year he's added a pink headset! We appreciate you, Chad!

JEERS to so many words, oh so very many unnecessary words! "McDonald's serving breakfast all day with the all day pit strategy..." What??

JEERS to Steve Letarte again, "Carl is driving like a veteran.." Well, yeah, that's kinda what we'd expect. That's something you say about a rookie.

JEERS to Jeff Burton's illustration of a corner. Here's a line and this is the beginning of the corner. But the best part was, "In both cases, you have to have the car pointed in the direction it needs to be pointed in." Is that ever not true? Words, words, words.

CHEERS to David Ragan's sponsor, Life With Cancer. I wish they'd talked about it (an opportunity to talk about something that matters!), but I looked it up and it's an organization that says, "We can help you meet the challenges of living with cancer by providing you and your loved ones with education, information and support, free of charge, no matter where you live or receive treatment. Explore the many ways that Life with Cancer can make your day-to-day life easier and help you connect with a community." NBC dropped the ball by not talking about this, especially in October. 

CHEERS to Kevin Harvick never finishing last in his whole Cup career. Did you know neither did Al Unser, Jr? Well, now you do. 

JEERS to a bad, bad day for Chip Ganassi and his fleet of cars. Both Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray now out. At least Jamie's problem was mechanical and not team error. I wonder who takes the fall for that, the guy that climbed over the wall or the crew chief. 

CHEERS , though, to the camera at the finish line with Jamie crossing as he was blowing up, because it almost looked like a victory burn-out.

CHEERS to the camera shot of the spotters at the moment a helicopter rose behind them. THAT was very cool, and I'm sure quite accidental! 

CHEERS to very old video of a tiny (and blond) Jimmie Johnson on two wheels! He looked very serious even back then!

CHEERS to the battle between Jimmie and Tony -- that's nine championship seasons we're looking at in those two cars. 

JEERS to Mountain Dew on the 24 car. That just looks weird. And wrong. But at least it doesn't look like a poop emoji. 

JEERS to a pit crew error on the 48 team. Wow. When I was a kid, my mother used to have an expression that if X happened, "Heads will roll." As a kid, I didn't ever stop to think about the gruesome nature of that expression, but it got the message across that there was gonna be big trouble. And when that penalty was announced, I could practically hear Chad's voice telling the crew that heads will roll! 

JEERS to hash marks on the pavement being insufficient for marking the spot where it's legal for the crew to jump the wall. Those lines are way too small, especially when you're looking down pit road from that angle. Even NBC knows it, and that's why they illustrated with a red line instead of just circling that little line with a yellow pen. Let the rule be one pit box back, and if you qualify well enough to pick a box by an opening like that, it's just an added reward. 

CHEERS to the speed in that 78 car! He's just freaky fast! Hello, Jimmy Johns? There are now just six cars on the lead lap! They sure know how to build fast ones in Colorado. I wonder what's different there. Maybe they're all just more "relaxed"? 

CHEERS to an overhand throw of a tire... AND a nice catch! 

CHEERS to Martin Truex Jr, yet again, for winning with a dominant car! Maybe JJ would have beat him had it not been for that pit penalty, but I'm not so sure. 

JEERS to "We're still trying to track down Tony Stewart." Understandable that he'd be disappointed even though he spent the week talking about how done he was with NASCAR, but by this stage of his career, he's still not able to man up for a two-minute interview? Something about a leopard and spots comes to mind. 

CHEERS to Kyle Larson, I think. Honestly on the fence here. His team is sporting some tire marks on the backs of their suits from the bus he threw them under, but yet, he was right. "If we didn't have too many men over the wall, we probably would have been okay." But even though he's right about that, I can't help but think how Chase Elliott would have handled that. Or Martin Truex. Both have been disappointed by their teams and both have taken the high road. 

JEERS to The Chase. I don't know why I like it less this year than ever before, but I really do. 

JEERS to the return trend of gigantic sunglasses. Did you see Kyle Larson's??

CHEERS to Kyle Petty, Captain Obvious: I think Chase Elliott undersells himself.

CHEERS to Chase Elliott, quickly becoming top dog at HMS, outperforming Jimmie, Jeff, and Junior. And is this a good time to mention that all three of them are old enough to be his father? Yes, really. Think on that a bit. 

And finally,

JEERS to feeling almost obligated to root for Kyle Busch to win one of the next two races so he doesn't go into Talladega in a desperate way. Would he wreck a guy just to move up to the next bracket? I don't think so. But does he take risks that others don't? All the time. Is he likely to do something unpredictable to pass a car or two? Absolutely. And if there's one thing at Talladega that causes more wrecks than anything else, it's unpredictable driving. I'm glad NASCAR changed the schedule so this will be the last time we have desperation at a plate track, but I'm already nervous about a race that's three weeks away. 


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Comments:
BNP
10/03/2016 4:53 pm (1)
CHEERS to Carol for calling out the broadcast crew for their chatter. If you quoted each time they talked nonsense there would not have been room for anything else in this article.
SrRaceFan
10/03/2016 7:34 pm (2)
CHEERS to a great column, Carol! You filled in some blanks for me! I watched the Xfinity race in the morning and Jeff Burton was just as verbal as ever. When the Cup race came on, I just couldn't take another 3 hours of him, so hit the Mute button and just watched all the action. When you don't hear the explanation for what they're showing, it can be quite comical - and interesting!

CHEERS to Truex Jr - he's one of my favorites. And CHEERS to the young guns too! I remember when Jeff Gordon and a few others were the "young guns" - that was a long time ago...

CHEERS to Tony speaking up and also going into retirement. If Jeff hadn't retired last year, I think Tony would have - and should have.

JEERS to empty stands, but if they sat through the showers on Saturday, I can't say as I blame them for not coming back on Sunday. I still have not forgotten the miserable weather we endured in Phoenix last November - glad I'm not going there this season!
Bill B
10/04/2016 7:02 am (3)
Great review of the race Carol!
I thought the same thing about Stewart's crap colored uniform. What a poor choice by the sponsor. I also thought the same thing about his lack of an interview after the race. At least he's being consistent 'til the end.

And I get that you love Chad and Jimmie, but come on, that guy was so far into the pit road it wasn't even close. And no, guys that get spots with openings shouldn't get the added benefit of being able to jump onto pit road early. Remember, that rule is as much about safety as it is about fairness in competition.

Yes, Latarte and, to a lesser extent Burton, are just annoying as hell to listen to. With 15 laps left Latarte was droning on about all the possible things that could go wrong for the leaders trying to interject some drama into a lackluster ending and little drama as to who was going to be eliminated in the stupid chase. Just let us watch it in peace. We already know all the things that can go wrong in the last lap because we've seen it happen many times. We also know that there is only a snowball's chance in hell of most of those scenarios happening at this specific moment. So just shut the blank up!!!

As for Kyle wrecking the field at Talladega to keep from being eliminated, after Harvick did it last year, of course I think Busch would be capable of the same thing.

Finally, have I ever mentioned how much I hate the chase.
mrclause
10/04/2016 9:36 am (4)
Carol, talking about the use of cadaver bone, I had a five disc fusion in my neck done with cadaver bone. The cool part is that the new bone isn't just slid in like a wafer maybe, but, it's kind of like machine cut, like gears meshing. Really amazing stuff.
Jayhawk
10/04/2016 10:10 am (5)
One to many CHEERS for cadaver bone here. I had a spinal repair done with cadaver bone. Not good. The bone dissolved and collapsed with fairly disasterous results, and I had to have it redone with bone taken from my hip. Not fun.

With you on the yakety yak. Twenty minutes or more, repeatedly and at length, about how Kyle Larson could recover from being four laps down. Please.
sealevel
10/04/2016 11:05 am (6)
CHEERS always to your writeups Carol
JEERS - jeez, the boys in the booth babble more than a valley girl on meth.
Tony's tootsie roll paint job, ugly as it gets.
Nice job missing the f-16 flyby production crew, no happy harvick interview, forgot he had to go to the trailer and pout.
CHEERS - awsome headset&hat by Chad.
JEERS - gordon in the car, put a young HMS
driver in there, go home, stay there.
CHEERS - junior at the track, take care of yourself, NOTHING else matters.
possum
10/05/2016 3:05 pm (7)
@Carol: LOL at the "won't turn in the corners" bit, because it does sound really weird. But to an insider, it actually makes sense. Drivers and crew chiefs see a corner as having three parts: you turn into the corner; you turn in the corner, meaning in the middle; and you turn off the corner. If the car is tight or loose in one part of the corner you do different things to fix it than in another part.

You might also sometimes hear someone say the car "won't rotate" - that's the same thing, it won't turn (i.e. is tight) in the middle of the corner. "Over-rotate" means it's loose in the middle.

Seems like Letarte needs to work a bit on his explanations.

John
grumpyone
10/05/2016 6:16 pm (8)
CHEERS to another good column. Got your groove back Carol? JEERS to the NBC booth. As much as I hate to admit it, at times I would rather have DW back. (Someone shoot me please) Still haven't seen the ratings for Dover but with the lack of butts in the seats they can't be good. JEERS to the results for Kyle Larson. He deserved a much better finish but he will be back next year. CHEERS to Tony's career in cup, but I won't miss him and neither will a lot of people. Hope he keeps doing good outside the track and I think he will. JEERS to the mistakes that the teams are making... Too many men over the wall, entering your pit too soon....etc. What are we thinking. And finally JEERS to the fake championship. Now the drivers want a reward for being the "regular season" champion. They finally figured out that the "regular" season means ABSOLUTELY nothing. The end of this fiasco can't get here quick enough.
Carol
10/05/2016 11:52 pm (9)
Posted by Mike Mulhern:
Things keep getting worse...
NASCAR Dover tv ratings: lowest-rated chase race ever (except for rainouts), even lower than last week's New Hampshire race. The playoffs have logged record-low ratings three straight weeks. And nine of the last 10 NASCAR Cup races have either set a record-low or hit the lowest mark in at least 15 years; seven of those dropped double-digits from previous low.
BNP
10/06/2016 11:24 am (10)
I believe that most everyone in this conversation saw the ratings drop coming from a long time back.
Bill B
10/06/2016 11:29 am (11)
I wonder how many people were like me. They hated the chase and wanted to turn their back on the sport but because they were loyal to their driver they kept watching. Well, now my driver retired and, for the most part, I've been watching but it doesn't take much for me to bump NASCAR for something else on a Sunday afternoon. So now Jr. isn't participating and I'd bet that most of the drops now are fans that have only been sticking with NASCAR due to their loyalty to Earnhardt. Watch out next year when it's very possible that Gordon, Stewart and Earnhardt fans won't have any reason to be loyal to NASCAR.

I am still wondering where this push to reward the regular season leader is coming from. While I have always thought that should be the case I find it suspicious that it is surfacing at this particular moment. My (conspiracy) theory is that they can't find a series sponsor willing to foot the bill for the entire season so they are going to have a sponsor for the regular season and the chase (basically splitting the cost). If that were the case and I was going to be the sponsor of the regular season, I would sure want the importance of those 26 races to be raised and mean more than just seeding for the chase. One way to do that would be to raise the importance of the regular season. I am most likely wrong but if we do end up with two sponsors remember that you heard it here first. LOL
sealevel
10/06/2016 4:29 pm (12)
Billb and Grumpy - on the mark.
So switch the chump-chase to the last 2 races, top 4 get to play.
Sad - yup, nascar asks for $, and go pound sand, chucky cheese - subway cup.
Glad to have recordings from when it was real, like watching a classic, can't be remaked, run silent run deep? the birds?

clyde
10/06/2016 6:25 pm (13)
Not a big Gordon fan either. But he sure has earned the right to be in the car................
possum
10/06/2016 6:45 pm (14)
@Bill B - I'm hearing that the regular season award is something the Driver Council has been pushing for almost since they were formed.

Perhaps this, like the low-downforce package, is NASCAR actually listening to the drivers, instead of thinking they know all the answers.

John
sealevel
10/07/2016 12:53 pm (15)
AB on the front row in the 88
stay home gordon, smooch the wife, play
with the kid, cut the grass, your no longer
required for tv and sponsor time, saw a whole
2min of coverage on the 88 last week, get burton out of the booth and stick him in, its the only thing that shut up micky treehitter, would work again.
:-)

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