Sunday, May 25, 2014

Indianapolis/Charlotte Post-Mortems

And so Memorial Day motorsports blast off and leave plenty of subplots to contemplate as the Indianapolis 500 exploded to one of its most exciting finishes while the World 600 saw a late challenge for Jimmie Johnson but in the end it was a challenge Johnson wasn't going to lose.

Ryan Hunter-Reay is one of those drivers who has been largely overlooked as far as Mainstream Media attention - such as it is nowadays - toward Indycar racing goes.   He nonetheless has been around for over ten years and has put together quite a number of wins from his days in the old CART series, winning with Stefan Johansson in Australia and also with the old Herdez team leading wire to wire at Milwaukee.   Signing on with Rahal-Letterman's team, he won at Watkins Glen before that team dissolved.  Michael Andretti's Indycar team now sought his services and Hunter-Reay has assembled a nice collection of victory trophies -  Milwaukee and the Birmingham road course have been almost his personal playground in Indycars.

Hunter-Reay's Indianapolis win will stand out, not only for being Indianapolis but for how hard he had to fight.  The last 43 laps were a drafting slugfest and the lead changed ten times in that span; the lead changed twice on Lap 199 alone, and nothing was going to stop him.


Amid Hunter-Reay's spectacular day there were many subplots - none bigger than Ed Carpenter's spectacular run and then coming to near-blows with James Hinchcliffe on a Lap 175 restart where Carpenter got sandwiched and an unplanned attempt to race three abreast through Turn One went south quickly.   Though he's won twice and led 207 laps in Indycar racing, Carpenter has never really established himself as something other than Tony George's stepson, this even though he's continued showing he's for real as a racer.  

The big challenger to Hunter-Reay late was Helio Castroneves, now on a quest to win Indianapolis four times; he damn near pulled it off in Penske's retro-Johnny Rutherford Pennzoil paint scheme.   Between them Penske and Michael Andretti swept the top six finishing spots, while Ed Carpenter's team salvaged a tenth place by J.R. Hildebrand.

Curiously having an abysmal day was Ganassi Racing, who entered three cars and lost two of them to wrecks while lameduck 500 champ Tony Kanaan was nowhere other than 26th at the end.

The other big subplot was that Indycar's third-year racecar for some reason has been at its raciest at the 500.   For three straight 500s the draft has been the dominant characteristic of the racing and of this racecar, and the ferocity of the passing showed it.   It is odd that this car hasn't quite had the same effect at Pocono and other high-speed tracks where the draft should be everything - for Indycars as well as NASCAR.


Disappointing was the lack of pre-race buzz, even with the connection between the 500 and the World 600.   Kurt Busch had entered the 500 in one of Michael Andretti's cars hoping to make the 500-600 double, the first such attempt by anyone in years.   Busch finished a quiet but nonetheless impressive sixth in the 500 before flying to Charlotte for the 600, and ran better than I suspect a lot of railbirds would have expected - yet in the end he lost power and finished 40th, and raised the question of whether the double was truly worth it.

Busch's effort took a back seat to teammate Kevin Harvick, who led 100 laps and tried to run down Jimmie Johnson at the end.   This is starting to become a pattern, as Harvick was the strongest yet a Hendrick car beat him at Kansas.  The rest of Stewart-Haas' effort was more mixed; Tony finished 13th - his first finish higher than 20th in a month - while 39th and 40th were the domain of Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick.  Little Miss Danica again earned media coverage beyond her talent level after a surprisingly good qualifying effort - but again once the race started she began to lose grip and then got waylaid in a crash.  

While Chip Ganassi didn't have anything to be proud of at The Brickyard he salvaged something in Bruton's Backyard via Jamie McMurray's fifth, coming after his All-Star Race win.   McMurray continues to be one of those guys who gets lost in the media shuffle yet will not go away on the track. 

Speaking of guys who won't go away, Brian Vickers continues to get into solid finishes, and lately has looked better than teammate Clint Bowyer, while another who won't go away even though he hasn't done much lately is Trevor Bayne, 20th in the 600 in the Wood Brothers #21 and now proud recipient of a full-time Roush Ford ride for 2015; an angle to watch is whether this is a fourth Roush car or a replacement for one of his established drivers, this amid burgeoning rumors of a split with Carl Edwards and also scuttlebutt that Ricky Stenhouse may not last the season - certainly he's making no case for himself on the racetrack.

A Ford that IS making a case for itself on the racetrack yet again is Richard Petty's #43, as Aric Almirola refuses to go away and continues to become a contender under Trent Owens.   11th is actually disappointing given Almirola clawed into contention and had to overcome stalling the car on a late stop.  

So with that, Indycar continues on while NASCAR heads to Dover for a date with Bristol on steroids.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why Benghazi Is Still Being Investigated

The answer is that the Obama administration won't come clean. It was caught flat-footed, proved utterly incapable of handling a crisis, and refuses to admit being wrong. It brought it on itself between letting Islamo-Arab terrorists take over Egypt after Mubarak fell and then letting the enemy escape once said enemy attacked. And attempts at exculpatory explanation by White House flacks run into the House Armed Services committee's conclusion that the Administration lied, specifically Leon Panetti, the area commander General Ham, and JCS Chairman Martin Dempsey.

Obama by any objective analysis was derelict in his duty and let the enemy escape, and has waged a Cover Your Ass campaign ever since.

The Myth Of Danica Improvement

Thomas Bowles debunks the hoopla that Danica Patrick is getting better and also examines why NASCAR continues struggling in TV ratings despite noticeable improvement in at-track attendance.

My take - He makes a legitimate point when he notes that the sport is not seeing a rise in fresh new faces.   Danica Patrick was a subpar racer in 2013 and a subpar racer in Indycars, and she's not getting better - the bigger problem is nobody else is, either, even with superb efforts by Kyle Larson.   It's been a lengthy reality in the sport as the technology arms race has made the sport more difficult to run.  In a sense it's a return to the problem in the 1970s that success begat success and the other teams were left further and further behind - it took the injection of more money from sponsors and the return of the factories in the 1976-80s period for new blood to come to the fore.

There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one I believe remains that NASCAR keeps running radial tires where bias-plies are fundamentally better for racing.  Short track stars simply can't transition to the big leagues because the way radial tires race makes a short tracker's experience useless - thus is upward mobility for racers stopped.   That Goodyear does not sell bias plies to the public explains why, and Goodyear has been able to make tires that give some of the raceability of bias plies - seen in numerous competitive Truck races such as Kansas in 2013 and '14. Nonetheless reestablishing upward mobility for short trackers to where they can graduate to Cup or Indycar remains an underappreciated necessity.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Obamacare's Goal - Denial Of Choices

Obamacare has been a failure and here we get an illustration of what crony capitalism looks like - government dictating the rules and favored companies getting the benefit at the expense of everyone.

NASCAR Balance Sheet Before The All-Stars

With the annual semi-farce that is Bruton Smith's All-Star Race now on the horizon, we look at the Cup teams and how they look going in -


HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS - Not the juggernaut they've been in the past, Hendrick Motorsports instead is strikingly balanced as Jeff Gordon has a win and Junior has a win.   Jimmie Johnson is winless but has led 572 laps so far; that he's winless this deep into the season has surprised a lot of people.    The car left behind has been Kasey Kahne, who's managed to show some rebound the last two races, especially at Kansas.

STEWART-HAAS RACING - Gene Haas' activities have given this outfit a bit of a drama-queen quality, yet it has three wins so far and has been decidedly ahead of Hendrick Motorsports, the supplier of SHR's machinery.   The striking fact about SHR's season, however, is how poorly they're doing in points, with Kevin Harvick, the clear leader of this gang, only 15th in points.   Even with the irrelevancy of the regular-season points standings, this is a surprising fact.

PENSKE RACING - The top Ford team, Penske Racing is Joey Logano's outfit now; Brad Keselowski is just along for the ride, and it's showing more and more.  Logano suddenly is for real as a title contender.

JOE GIBBS RACING - Despite missing a race, Denny Hamlin is 11th in points while teammates Matt Kenseth - like Johnson curiously winless - and Kyle Busch are in the top three in points.   Kenseth has led the most laps of the JGR squad at 271, which makes his lack of a win so far surprising.    JGR is Toyota's top team and that's not enough for Toyota to make the run; there needs to be more firepower here.

ROUSH-FENWAY RACING - Carl Edwards is almost this outfit's only contender, and it hasn't been close to enough of a fight to take RFR seriously outside of winning some races.   Greg Biffle has been good but not great, while Ricky Stenhouse hasn't even been all that good at 25th in points.

RCR ENTERPRISES - That Ryan Newman is eighth in points right now is downright insulting.   There has been no sustainable fight out of this team all season, shown in the paltry 56 laps led by what is supposed to be a juggernaut.   Newman's points position combines with an even bigger surprise - that Austin Dillon is 14th in points.   Dillon won the Daytona 500 pole and has been mostly MIA since.   Paul Menard at 15th is too high for his woeful talent level, but he at least led with some authority at the plate tracks.

MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING - Unnoticed has been Brian Vickers, now tenth in points.  Quietly he's clawed into contention and a pair of fourths plus 30 laps led at Darlington combined with his Talladega bid show MWR, despite a battered reputation from last season, isn't dead after all.   Curiously quiet has also been Clint Bowyer, 21st in points and struggling in two of the last three races.

GANASSI-SABCO RACING - This is an outfit on the rise again with what may be a long-bomb touchdown of a driver choice in Kyle Larson.   Much better than I expected, Larson has outclassed the rest of the rookie race after a slow start to the season.    He's clearly taking over this outfit from Jamie McMurray, who managed two top-tens in the first five races and has been MIA since.

BRAD DAUGHERTY RACING - As a one-car team I'm not sure they can sustain the run they've been on so far, but AJ Allmendinger has been another one quietly putting up surprising runs that make him better than his mediocre points position (17th) would indicate.  

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS - Expectations for this outfit weren't all that hot going into 2014, but RPM has been quietly defying expectations.   Aric Almirola has shown legitimate improvement under new crew chief Trent Owens and the Kansas effort has been the best so far.   Marcos Ambrose has been more erratic but has a pair of top-fives to go with his much-publicized garage set-to with Casey Mears.    Suddenly it isn't implausible to think Richard can see another win.

GERMAIN RACING - Speaking of Casey Mears, the one word to describe his career is non-achievement, a fitting description of crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker as well.   It's continuing with the small Germain outfit.

BARNEY VISSER RACING - Now we're seeing why Martin Truex Jr. hasn't done much in his Winston Cup career - Kurt Busch got 11 top-fives and nearly 500 laps led out of Furniture Row's outfit in 2013, and this year Truex has one top-ten and no laps led.   Truex has entered Greg Sacks territory.

HARRY SCOTT JR. - Justin Allgaier is competing against all odds and it shows; his Talladega victory bid still warrants great respect.

TOMMY BALDWIN JR. RACING - The disappointment of the season may be Michael Annett, who showed real racing form in the Busch Series yet has not translated any firepower into Cup.  

FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS - Bob Jenkins - no, not the former telecaster - got the upset of the decade in 2013 in the most electrifying win a lot of people have ever seen with David Ragan's Talladega win.   That magic has not reappeared and fielding David Reutimann for a few races didn't improve anything.

THE REST OF THE FIELD - The only other team worth mentioning is Wood Brothers Racing as Trevor Bayne raced at Daytona and led two laps then raced at Talladega and led six laps - he also had decent efforts at Vegas and Fontana.  

The field thus gathers for the All Star Race as a season that's already been a little strange may get more so.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How does US policy help low-wage workers?

The US welfare state keeps people in poverty that they would escape from even with "low wage" jobs if allowed by removing government meddling.

The Social Security Disinformation Campaign

The former Treasury Secretary was asked to lie about Social Security by the Obama regime to avoid the truth that it's a failure.

The Great Society at 50

The Societal Failure That Is The Great Society at 50.

Boko Haram And Islamo-Arab Imperialism

Islamo-Arab scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali - invited to a lecture at Brandeis before the college cancelled it because she tells the truth about Islamo-Arab imperialism - discusses the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls and what the Islamo-Arab imperial ideology is about.

Obama's Continuing Failure of Policy

Obama let the mercenary army of Islamo-Arab terrorist states - Al Qaida - off the mat, and it's attacking again.

Two outdated US trade policies and gas prices

You can thank two outdated, anti-consumer, protectionist US trade policies for some of your ‘pain at the pump’

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Left's New Crony Capitalism Crusade

The Left has taken to a new book, Capital In The 21st Century,  yet some critics are going beyond the book's absurd argument about inequality (which has long been a result of excessively collectivist policies, not market ones) and instead are using it to attack government backing of certain industries.   The Left is now fighting to defend crony capitalism.

Racing's Bang-Up Mother's Day Weekend

It was a bang-up Mother's Day weekend in racing and thus is accelerated the motorsports Mecca that is the month of May.    Some takes on the varied racing efforts seen this weekend -


Maybe it wasn't such a good idea after all - The first Grand Prix of Indianapolis added a new wrinkle to Indianapolis Motor Speedway but also showed some nastiness as Sebastian Saavedra won the pole, then gagged entirely on the start and got creamed by Carlos Munoz, driving one of Michael Andretti's cars,  and Mikhail Aleshin in Sam Schmidt's car.   

And that was just the first wreck - later on Scott Dixon and Will Power renewed Penske vs. Ganassi acquaintances in Turn Three, then in Turn Seven Michael Andretti and A.J. Foyt's teams said a rude Hello between Franck Montagny's #26 and Mike Plowman's #41, and finally Juan Montoya, unable to find a jet dryer to destroy, instead encountered Graham Rahal.

With nine road course cars (out of a 25-car field) thus dispatched, an interesting subplot involving rivalries may have been added to the 500 in two weeks.   Certainly Sam Schmidt and company got something big out of the GP - Simon Pagenaud won it, completing a nice sweep as Sam's Indy Lights driver Luiz Razia led wire-to-wire in the Indy Lights portion of the day.

The contrast of Trucks and Cup at Kansas continued - Last season the Truck 250 at Kansas proved to be a very exciting affair and 2014's running also had very memorable racing.   Kyle Busch won the Truck 250 after battling Brad Keselowski's two Ford trucks most of the night and battle is the operative word here - Busch and Joey Logano got into several nice sidedrafting bouts for first, illustrating again the striking and downright baffling contrast of the Trucks and the Cup cars here and elsewhere - the ability of the Trucks to have the draft mean something where it still hasn't for the Cup cars.  

Some Truck shout-outs - Jeb Burton's season hasn't been much, but he got a solid sixth with Duke Thorson, his second top-ten in three starts and his season now looking optimistic after all.   Also looking great was Taylor Malsam, making his season debut in Steve Turner's Chevrolet and finishing fifth.

While she doesn't get the publicity of Danica Patrick, Jennifer Jo Cobb has posted some decent efforts in anonymity, including a respectable 13th at Kansas.

Chevrolet bounces back - and so does Hendrick - Jeff Gordon got a huge pitstop late and got an ugly handling issue for Kevin Harvick at the end to grab his first win of the season.   Harvick nonetheless led 119 laps and showed anew he's for real for the whole season.   It was point for a huge bounce back for Chevrolet as the bowties took six of the top nine spots while Ford grabbed three top tens and Toyota was largely MIA - only Matt Kenseth in 10th wound up with anything.   It was also another big night for Hendrick as all four Hendrick cars were in the top nine.  

Given he's the focus every week, it should be noted Dale Junior's fifth was an especially solid bounce back after a dismal effort at Talladega, and it's his fourth top-seven finish in his last six outings.  

It was a more mixed bag for Stewart-Haas as Tony and Kurt Busch had another forgettable night while the shocker of the night was Danica Patrick's seventh.     

Continuing to fall back are the RCR Chevrolets, with Ryan Newman salvaging 11th as his season continues to be unimpressive while Paul Menard had a Menard-esque night a lap down and Austin Dillon keeps losing the rookie race to Kyle Larson.

Richard Petty's team on the rise - Though he lost seventh at the end to Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola was very solid all night en route to eighth in Petty's #43.   His third top-ten of the year, it also gave Petty's organization its fifth top-ten (three of them top-fives) between Almirola and Marcos Ambrose.   The nit to pick is the Petty cars need to go for the lead harder, especially in the restrictor plate races; overall, though, it's no longer implausible to expect a win for The King.

Pal Joey - If you thought there might be a chance Joey Logano could slide a bit down the Penske totem pole, it's getting more and more obvious that won't happen after leading 63 laps at Kansas on top of his great sidedraft fight with Kyle Busch in the Truck 250 the night before, and steadily showing he's for real after all - and I doubt anyone had that in the office pool the previous five seasons watching him.    One has to see if Brad Keselowski can get anything going again with a mediocre 13th at Kansas and the wound still raw from his Ernie Irvan imitation at Talladega.

Speaking of which.......... - Keselowski was asked about that Talladega gaffe before the Kansas race and he answered, "I wasn't ready to give up."   One has mixed feelings here - racing insane when six laps down is not smart and we all saw what resulted.   Yet Keselowski's go-for-the-win approach is fundamentally the right one - especially in contrast to Junior quitting on the win in that same Talladega race.

And so the month of May marches toward Ten Days Of Bruton Smith at Charlotte as well as an Indianapolis 500 where the competitive expectations have now hit 68 lead changes based on 2013's running.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Slush Fund From Obamacare To Insurers

Knowing Obamacare would not work and would cost insurers too much money - and that his revisions were illegal - the Obama regime has been buying them off. This is what Crony Capitalism looks like.

Some Questions Post-Talladega and Pre-Kansas

With the Aarons 312 and 499 weekend at Talladega wrapped up NASCAR shuffles to Kansas for the Trucks and Cup cars.   In this interregnum between the Winston 500 and the Kansas 400, some questions worth asking -


Is the season now seeing disincentive to win? - Dale Junior's acknowledgement after the Winston 500 that the reward of going for the win was not worth the risk has several angles - one of which was his 2012 crash where he suffered a concussion as well as "I've been in too many late-race wrecks"; he also noted "We already got a win." 

The striking number of winners so far this season may continue this weekend, but overlooked has been that we're starting to see the disincentive to win that Brian France's Chase-oriented points seeding was bound to produce.   The emphasis on winning has received the publicity, and overlooked has been that this emphasis is solely in the context of the Chase.  

It is impossible to see a scenario where in a non-Chase points format a greater emphasis on winning would not see Junior or anyone else race harder.   Incentive to win doesn't grow when the true emphasis remains on a notional playoff lock.

Will Ford and Toyota start surging to legitimately challenge Chevrolet? - We can legitimately claim yes here.   Before the Talladega race Ford had won four of the previous seven races and Joe Gibbs' Toyota won at Fontana before Hamlin's Talladega triumph.   The Chevy program has started to look overrated between Hendrick Motorsports struggles, decidely poor showings for RCR, and the up-and-down showings of Stewart-Haas Racing.  

It would appear Joey Logano and the JGR Toyotas are the ones to topple Chevrolet going forward - a Toyota darkhorse, though, may be the tandem of Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer, who've quietly put up respectable runs, enough that Bowyer, crew chief Brian Pattie, and their sponsor re-upped with Michael Waltrip for three additional seasons past 2014.

Speaking of Logano, what's up with Brad Keselowski? - Joey Logano has clearly usurped Keselowski as Penske Racing's top dog and the way Keselowski raced everyone at Talladega - it was Ernie Irvan-esque - combined with the collapse of his season after winning Vegas (just one finish higher than 14th in the last seven races) one has to wonder if it is getting to him.   He's generally run well at Kansas, and if he can get back into contention for the season he needs to strike at Kansas.

Has the rookie race realistically been decided already? - Kyle Larson keeps making the case that it has.   It's obvious Austin Dillon is missing something as a racer and it's also obvious Larson is better than a lot of us thought he was.  

What drivers who went to different teams may be on the chopping block down the road? - The one that comes to mind for me is Ryan Newman at RCR.   He's managed four top tens so far but has shown little in the way of muscle doing so, and bailing out on the lead draft at Talladega and then crashing into Carl Edwards late in the race showed a cowardice in his racing that nobody should be happy with.

So it goes as the sport enters Kansas.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Is This What Deregulation Looked Like?

This 2009 piece looked at the myth that deregulation of the financial services industry was somehow rampant. It's worth re-reading to remind us that the arguments against deregulation are inherently false.

Benghazi Lies Continued

The proof Obama lied about Benghazi out of determination to avoid responsibility for helping the enemy get stronger and then letting the enemy escape continues to build.

We also include this photographic timeline of the Benghazi attack and its aftermath.

2014 Winston 500 Ten Takes

The 2014 Aarons Talladega weekend has come and gone and proven itself again a strong competitive endeavor.  The weekend sees ten takeaways to digest -


1 - Restrictor plate racing is still the best racing - The FOX Sports website did a poll on what NASCAR should have more of - superspeedways or short tracks.   I can confidently say the popular view is short tracks even though the objective view is superspeedways, as demonstrated yet again here at Talladega.   No short track can produce so high a level of competition up front as the plate tracks have produced.  The irony is that this season so far has produced very good races at all three types of tracks - the two plate races were great, Fontana was very good, and Martinsville was eye-openingly competitive.

2 - A mediocre Talladega is still better than others, yet.... - The 2014 Winston 500 saw 48 lead changes, the most for this race since 2011, yet as terrific as the racing was, it can still be better.  "It's so hard to pass..." re-entered the postrace conversation and it makes further nonsense of NASCAR's recent rules to kill push-drafting.   It bears repeating how 2013's Talladega Truck 250 showed how tandem drafting has been evolving back toward conventional pack drafting but with that extra power to pass that will always be the strongest such ever seen in racing.  It would not have hurt anyone if the Busch and Winston Cup races were able to see cars push-draft all the way around and thus move the top line forward faster and stronger - it also, for Junior fans, have allowed him to make a run for the win at the end; we will discuss that below......

3 - Brad Keselowski's fall from grace - It's been said numerous times that Joey Logano has usurped Brad Keselowski as Penske Racing's top dog; one wonders about that watching Keselowski race like Ernie Irvan in this race; laps down after a tap from Little Miss Danica left him (and several others) with damage, he nonetheless raced like hell and crowded the top ten until he lost it and took others with him - ironically including Joey Logano.   Now Keselowski has been flashy but this strikes me as very odd. 

4 - Chevrolet gets a comeuppance - Normally Chevrolets dominate Talladega; not this time, as Fords and Toyotas were the strongest of the lot pretty much all day.  Denny Hamlin's win topped a top-four near-monopoly by Toyota and capped a weekend sweep by Joe Gibbs Racing after Elliott Sadler's Aarons 312 win Saturday.  

5 - The rookie race spreads out more - Austin Dillon's rookie run from the Daytona 500 pole has been pretty much downhill from there, as Kyle Larson outclassed him again. 

6 - There's been a Michael Waltrip sighting - MWR finished third and fourth and Brian Vickers had a legitimate shot at the win; it's the first time seemingly all season we've seen any muscle out of MWR, and even with a third place Clint Bowyer didn't look particularly impressive.

7 - Junior and Hendrick's curious fall - Kasey Kahne salvaged a top-ten for Hendrick Motorsports and that was pretty much all to have for that team, as Junior never looked up to challenging for anything - though he led 26 laps he lost the draft twice late in the race - and both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon crashed out.   Though the Hendrick fleet has a combined twelve top-fives so far, the muscle of yore hasn't been there since Daytona.

And here, Junior's postrace comment to the effect that "the reward wasn't worth the risk" is flabbergasting. Trying to win is not worth it is an insult to competition in general and racing in particular, and signals there is something fundamentally wrong with Junior as a racer now.

8 - When Stewart-Haas's guys are good they run good - And when they're bad they don't.   Simplistic a summary perhaps, yet watching Danica Patrick lead six laps and then finish 22nd with pretty much a whimper one cannot help but think this way.   Kevin Harvick remains the organization's point car while the rest of the fleet limps in his wake - especially Smoke, who looked like he didn't even want to be there at Talladega.

9 - Break up the Underdogs! - Justin Allgaier finished 27th and his last-lap wreck ended the race under caution.   Yet for a strong moment it appeared Allgaier might top David Ragan's spectacular win from last year as he stormed up the extreme high side for the lead.   There was also a superb effort from AJ Allmendinger in Brad Daugherty's Chevrolet and a commendable if overlooked effort from Landon Cassill in Joe Falk's #40.   Richard Petty's #43 of Aric Almirola looked like junk for most of the race yet drafted into the top fifteen - commendable yet like the race itself a frustrating reminder that it should be a lot better than that. 

10 - It's time to get rid of Barney Hall - MRN, it's time to give up on Barney Hall.   Yes, he's been a NASCAR icon forever, but it gets more and more embarrassing listening as he tries to recover a fastball that disappeared from him long ago.

And so the first Talladega weekend has wrapped and Kansas awaits.   It's noteworthy that in 2013 Kansas saw racing strikingly similar to Talladega in the Trucks and Busch Series - one hopes they and the Cup cars get that kind of effect this time around.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Thursday, May 01, 2014