Pedley: Infineon Race Not A Race
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
I had a history professor in college who said during a lecture one day that he was kind intrigued by the concept of anarchy. But he quickly added that his intrigue was strictly clinical as human nature would render the concept nonviable in practice.
I think what we saw Sunday at Infineon Raceway brought into question the practical viability of ‘Have at it boys’.
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 was a mess. It was mosh-pit racing from start to finish and not just from the usual suspects.
It transformed normally respectful Jeff Gordon into a flaming Keselowski.
Gordon looked like bargain hunter at a shoe sale as he punched and gouged his way through the field Sunday.
Standing between Gordon and the $29 pair of Gucci loafers on one occasion was Martin Truex Jr. Gordon’s head butt ended a nice run by Truex and his Michael Waltrip Racing team.
Just had to have those shoes, Gordon said.
“He was just racing as clean as he could and I was racing with Juan Pablo (Montoya) and I just got in there and took him straight out.”
Interesting. But, like, why?
Everybody was doing it, Gordon said.
“Guys were just running people off the race track.” Gordon said. “Running into the back of them. It was like being on a short, dirt track. I know we’ve made a lot of people mad. We finished top-five, we’ll just take it. It tore our race car up and we never had a shot of winning after that but, a lot of guys didn’t finish in the top-five like we did either, so oh well.
“On the restarts you just got used up. Guys making it three wide and I’m as guilty of it as anybody. After they started doing it to me, I had to do it to others. There is some things that I’m not proud of that I did today; certainly with Martin. I mean, I completely messed that up and I will try to patch that up. Other things that happened out there were just really hard racing incidents.”
Gordon apologized to Truex – kind of.
“I made a lot of guys mad today,” he said. “I certainly owe Martin Truex and apology. I feel awful about that.”
Apology not accepted, Truex said.
“I guess Jeff figured he couldn’t catch us on the race track he was going to spin us out on the restart,” Truex said.
“He was six, seven car lengths behind me coming into (Turn) 11, and I didn’t think I had anything to worry about. The next thing I know I’m spun around. If he’s a car length or two back, yeah, you take your defensive line, you prepare for it, him trying to dive bomb me, but he was seven car lengths back. There’s no way he should have been where he was.
“Now I know he’s going to say Juan (Pablo Montoya) was trying to pass me and I was trying to block him. I don’t care. Just because he’s trying to pass you, it’s alright for you to spin me out? No. Let him pass you then. I would have let Juan (Pablo Montoya) pass me. If it was either get passed or spin out Jeff Gordon, I would have lifted and get passed. That’s the difference between me and him. That’s why I’m here, that’s why he’s out there and that’s why I’m pissed off.”
Truex issued those statements after emerging from the infield care center.
There was no apology from Gordon to Kurt Busch, another driver he ‘dozed.
“Kurt Busch had everything coming to him that I gave him because he gave it to me on the restart before that, so I don’t feel sorry about that. I certainly do with Martin. With Elliott (Sadler), I feel bad. I was racing him hard, he was blocking me but we was trying to race somebody else too but that was probably my fault as well.”
I suppose there are those out there who like the kind driving which we saw at Infineon Sunday. Me, I prefer what I saw at Road America in Saturday’s Nationwide race. There were bumps and wrecks and even a red flag, but there was also a bit of order and a lot of good racing.
And they proved at Road America that you can race modern stock cars on road courses without having having Gettysburg break out.
I got an email from a colleague this morning asking what I thought was the cause of it all.
I said I think it is a variety of things. Such as; pressure to keep sponsors, pressure to keep jobs, excessive egos, bad attitudes, infectious road rage, greed and the fact there is nobody who has a desire to end it all.
You know, the things which keep anarchy from being a viable social/economic system.
– Jim Pedley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments