Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lightning McQueen As Bullitt

The Michigan 400 arrived and the weekend once again provided some surprising competition.

The Cars 3 film was released before the Michigan 400 weekend and the series' central character is a racecar named Lightning McQueen.   Though the creators say the character was not named after actor and racing enthusiast Steve McQueen it's hard not to make the connection anyway.   To commemorate the film Kyle Larson drove a Lighting McQueen color scheme and promptly won the Michigan 400 pole.

Lighting McQueen was fast as a Bullitt, even though Martin Truex Jr. played the role of Bill Hickman's hitman in leading a great deal of the 400.

Larson also offered a striking lesson in sidedraft passing - he got the lead late from Kyle Busch by sucking the air off his left rear, then pinched Denny Hamlin to the low groove - which was nonexistent basically from jump street - by not letting him get to his left rear.

Michigan International Speedway has never been known for high incidence of crashes for its stock car events, so 2017's June weekend was rather surprising with regard to crashes.

Restarts saw a striking incidence of loose racecars and the amazing part was more cars weren't torn up as a result.

For the second week in a row the Xfinity Series was decided by an exciting last-lap three-car showdown, this one won by Denny Hamlin over rising youngster William Byron.

Byron earned great respect for his Michigan finish, but his reputation first began with his first career Truck win at Kansas in 2016 in one of the wildest finishes in years.

Speaking of wild Truck finishes, John Hunter Nemechek challenged Johnny Sauter at the end at Gateway; the lead changed some three times between them before Nemechek grabbed the lead and legged it for the win.    Controversial due to several incidents, John Nemechek's career has shown recklessness and undoubted competitive fight.  

Other Notes -

If you needed anymore reason why Tony Stewart needs to shut up, his idiotic epistle about the late yellow and how it "ruined" the race for many just shows anew why the sport can nicely do without his participation.   Cautions don't ruin anything; people like Stewart are what ruin things.

Just when it looked like Ryan Blaney would do a David Pearson at Michigan International Speedway, he got crossed up and ultimately beaten on.    Call it classic hero-to-zero for one week; we doubt it will affect him down the road.

Darrell Wallace had a better day than last week at Pocono, but had to be irked he restarted 11th and slid to 19th.  

Dale Junior's penultimate Michigan race must leave him encouraged after a solid top-10.

I apologize for being unenthused by Joey Logano's weekend announcement - it is nonetheless appropriate for Fathers Day.

And the summation - NASCAR's debut season with Monster Energy and the resultant points changes keep making for an interesting season.

No comments: