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Monday Highlights For You Working Stiffs

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, August 15 2011

Denny Hamlin slammed into the tire barrier at Watkins Glen. That was a low point of Monday's race. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Welcome to the ‘Working Person’s Friend’ column in which the high and low points of Monday’s workday Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International are listed:

High point: Marcos Ambrose, probably the best driver of stock cars on road courses in the world, got himself and Richard Petty Motorsports their very warm first-ever Sprint Cup victories. Both Ambrose and RPM have had suffered through some real bummers the last couple years.  Good to see the good guys win one every once in a while.

Low point: Frightening wrecks marred the race. Wrecks which may have been fatal had they happened just 15 years ago. Denny Hamlin suffered what he thought was a part failure during the race heading into Turn 1 at, pretty much, full speed. He rammed head on into stacks of tires which were sitting in front of intractable fencing. The car wadded up but good in the front end. On the final lap of the race, David Ragan and David Reutimann were involved in the same wreck which also looked potentially crippling. Those cars slammed wall not protected by SAFER barriers. Both drivers correctly called for that situation be changed.

High point: Brad Keselowski, two weeks after breaking an ankle and one week after winning at Pocono on that ankle, finished second at The Glen. Incredible. Braking and

Brad Keselowski rests his injured ankle at Pocono. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

shifting like crazy on one good leg and not only finishes well but leads numerous laps and gets a podium. Had he not had to contend with Ambrose on the final lap, Keselowski would have won the race.

Low point: Keselowski made me look like a fool for  writing that he should have surrendered his ride in the interest of keeping Chase hopes alive. Nicely done, sir.

High point: Pretty good fight after the race between Boris Said and Greg Biffle. Said made a couple of pretty good bull rushes at Biffle, who was standing behind some pretty big team members. Best part was what Said said (love saying that) afterward. Said said he will catch up with Biffle at some point away from the track and would go to Biffle’s house to kick his butt if somebody would text him Biffle’s address. Said said that some day soon, Biffle would show up at a track with a black eye.

A snippet: “He won’t even fight me like a man afterward. So if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a frigging whooping. And I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving the finger, totally unprofessional, two laps down. I mean, he’s a chump.”

Low point: Said said Biffle a “scaredy cat” and a “chump”. Said ripped Biffle for taking a couple of weak punches at him through the window of Said’s car before he was able to get out. When Said did get out, Said said that Biffle ran and hid behind the big teammates. Um, Boris, you were wearing a helmet and Biffle was not when you were attempting to get at him. Take the helmet off and then go after somebody before using such powererful language as “scaredy cat” and “chump”.

High point: Another first-time winner in Ambrose. Also, the 15th winner in 22 races in 2011. This all just points out how close the competition has become. Rip the drivers for being corporate shills, rip TV for too many commercials, rip NASCAR for global warming and new outbreaks of measles, but do not complain about the quality of Sprint Cup racing. It has quite simply, never been better.

Low point: NASCAR continues to refuse to work rain tires into the road course system. Sunday would have offered a perfect situation for their use. Wet track with little standing water.

High point: Road courses continue to provide the most entertainment in NASCAR. Hey, corners produce action (bumping and passing) and road courses have turns galore. The clamor for putting a road race into the track continued to pick up before the race Monday and you can bet it will continue afterward. Also, there is talk about using “The Boot” section of The Glen track. It features exciting turns and lengthens the track. Both are good things.

Keep those wheels of industry turning there, working folk.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, August 15 2011
One Comment

One Comment »

  • SB says:

    You’re absolutely right about Sunday being perfect conditions for rain tires…damp pavement, no standing water. Couldn’t be a better set up for running them. Nascar saying it’s ‘too much of a crapshoot’ this cdlose to the ‘chase’ is ridiculous…they go to Talladega, don’t they? Nascar fans are at least as tough as football fans, can sit through a little rain.