Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Five Questions After ... Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500





In the spirit of the rained out race at Martinsville Speedway, I’m doing the 5 questions a day late! Better late than never, right? Anyways, if you didn’t enjoy the race this weekend (or Monday), you need to check your heart rate! Arguably the best racing since the Daytona 500, no one was really sure who was going to win the race until the checkered flag flew. Let’s be honest here: Nobody really thought Denny Hamlin was going to be able to win that race. Even watching the replay, I’m not really sure how he pulled it off. However, it was a ton of fun to watch and we can only hope to see more of that in the upcoming races!




What was Mike Ford thinking? … The argument that was used by Mike Ford and Hamlin after the race was, no matter what, the other leaders were going to do what they didn’t. While there may be a bit of truth to that was it really worth the risk of starting way back in the field with new tires? Hamlin already had a dominant car. With Jeff Burton out of the way due to a flat tire, Hamlin most likely could have pulled away on the restart. It’s highly unlikely that every driver behind Hamlin would have pitted, and no one had a car good enough to do what Hamlin did. He would have been long gone on that restart before anyone with new tires had a chance to get to him. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. They won either way. But Hamlin had better thank his lucky stars for the double-file restarts; otherwise that victory wouldn’t have happened. With Hamlin recovering from surgery due to a torn ACL, it may be the last one for a while.



Will Kenseth hold a grudge? … Yes, I know Kenseth bumped Gordon out of the way first. However, Kenseth got the raw end of the deal after Gordon punted him out of the way. He finished 18th. Gordon finished 3rd. These two have had issues in the past. Though it’s highly unlikely we’ll see them killing each other for 8th place at Phoenix, we might not see any give and take the next time they’re going for the victory.



How many people called in sick to stay for the race? … Those stands were pretty full for a Monday race! I’m sure all of a sudden there was an outbreak of the flu, and most of it seemed to be coming from the Martinsville area. Go figure. It was very promising, though, to be able to hear the crowd cheering when there really shouldn’t have been a crowd at all. Oh, sure, attendance was probably down from Sunday to Monday. But there were still enough fans in the stands to show NASCAR that race fans are still as dedicated as ever.



Where was Jimmie Johnson all day? … It’s normal for us to ask that question during the race. But afterwards, everyone is normally asking “Where did Jimmie Johnson come from?” But Johnson hardly made any noise at Martinsville. He ran in the top five for a while, but never really challenged for the win. He said after the race they were trying some new setups for the Chase. I guess they know what NOT to do when they come back here in the fall.



Where did Joey Logano come from? … Well, someone had to fill in. The guy finished second! I’d tell you where he was running all day, but I have no clue. Logano didn’t necessarily have a good track record previous to Sunday. Nobody expected him to be up there at the end of the race. He had the 8th best average running position, which was 11th, so apparently he was running around up there for a while. Somehow he managed to get a runner-up finish out of it. If you watch the last few laps, all he really did was follow his teammate to the front. It was pretty slick. We may not have seen the last of Sliced Bread after all.





Bonus questions: When will the old man stop snoring during NASCAR races? … Is Jimmie’s 9th place finish really a “slump”? … Does Marcos Ambrose now have more enemies than friends?


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Photo courtesy of NASCARMedia. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

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