After letting my initial rage and furor die down overnight and through the day, I am now ready to post my feelings about the Cup race last night. If you don't know, I am a fan of the #88 Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
It's been 2 years since my guy has won a race in this series. In his 1st year with Hendrick Motorsports, he is well on his way to winning big. Last night didn't look like the night. The #11 of Denny Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, was dominating the race. No one could even get near him. with less than 25 laps to go, Hamlin was in 1st place, with his teammate Kyle Bush (#18 Toyota) in 2nd and #88 in 3rd.
All of a sudden Hamlin slowed down. The announcers excitedly reported that Hamlin had a flat tire. Hamlin was caught by the duo of Busch and Jr, who went by him on both sides. Jr got the best of the pass and began to boogie away from everyone, leaving Busch a full second behind him. At this point Hamlin is falling back in the field, due to his tire issue. He is not goin to win the race, he is not going to finish in the top 20. His car is a danger to everyone else on the trak because at any second, his flat tire could shred and send him into a spin and wreck more cars. He should pull into the pits and get a new tire so he can salvage as good a finish as he can. Does he do this? Of course not! If he had, Jr would have won the race and I would have been happy all day long.
No, this douchebag stays on the track. Why you ask? Well, I'll tell you why. I mentioned Hamiln's teammate Busch, right? I actually like Kyle Busch, even though he drives crazy. That's actually why I like him, I guess. He really reminds me of Dale Sr. Well at this point Kyle has no shot of catching the #88. The only way he can have a chance is if there is a caution flag. Then the field will bunch back up for a restart. Hmmm, need a caution, huh? I'll bet you if a car were to shred a flat tire, that would bring out a caution! Denny, don't come in. Just drive around the track until your tire blows up. I tell you what, instead of that, just stop on the track somewhere....bingo, caution flag!!!
Now it gets sickening. After stopping on the track to get the caution, Hamlin starts driving again!!! He pulls into the pits to change his flat tire, about 1o laps after he should have! NASCAR officials penalize Hamlin 2 laps. This shows how out of it the officials are at this point. Hold Hamlin in his pits for 2 laps!?!?! Oh no, then he won't win the race!!! Wait, he couldn't win the race at that point anyway. But now his teammate is back on the rear bumper of the leader. I am sure that Hamlin was told to stay on the track by his boss, so that a caution would come out and allow Busch a chance to pass Jr. The safety of the other drivers on the track was compromised for team strategy!!
In case you need the rest of the story, after the restart, Busch spun Jr around. It was a racing thing. The spin itself wasn't controversial IMO, but the fact that Busch was allowed the chance to spin Jr out has pissed me off!!! I can take a tiny bit of solace in the fact that Clint Bowyer won the race, and Busch finished 2nd. Jr recovered to finish 15th, but he was very frustrated afterward.
here's a story about the race Link
here's an interesting take: Link