Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Ramblings

By John "Dawg" Chapman

Overall I think this season ranks as one of the more interesting in recent

Week to week, the actual racing wasn't always spectacular, but the variety
of winners was quite refreshing.

Starting with Daytona, just like last year, we were treated to another
"feel good" surprise winner. While most everyone else was focusing on
Trevor Bayne. I must confess, I was focusing on the Wood Brothers.
This is a team that I greatly admire, for a variety of reasons.
Their history, the fact that they haven't resorted to starting, &
parking, & they haven't given up. What's not to like? The same goes for
Trevor Bayne. I've said that the racing wasn't always exciting, & that goes
in spades for the plate tracks, Daytona included.

If not for a rule infraction, David Ragan probably would have been the
winner. It was like Trevor just ran out of anyone to push, & sort of had
the win thrust upon him. David's ill advised move, is right up there with
Marcos Ambrose's fuel conservation move at Infineon. If David hadn't
changed lanes early & had won. He & UPS would have both basked in
the glow of a big win. He'd probably still have UPS, his ride, & a lot of
hardworking people at Roush, would still have their jobs. Funny how
things work out.

From The Department Of Meaningless Statistics
(I think modeled after Monty Pythons Department of Silly Walks.)

After every plate race, the talking heads are quick to point out how many
lead changes there were. This is usually followed up with articles from
outlets with a vested interest. Such as, & NASCAR's TV partners.
All this really tells us is with this tango style racing, anyone can be pushed
to the lead. That is, if they're not scared to be up front. Come on guys, give us
a little credit here. We're not as gullible as you think we are. If you're going to tout something, make sure it has some relevance.

Thinking of rather meaningless things, brings my next topic to mind.

Andy Lally wins Rookie of the Year!

Last years winner was Kevin Conway. No slight on Andy intended.
He's a strong driver with a great resume in sports cars. Kevin managed
to log laps, & bring his cars home in one piece, though usually 4-5 laps down.
I do have one question. Who'd they beat out to win?
Thirty seven year old Dale Junior has a girlfriend & it's considered news.
I don't know about you, but I find this just a tad on the strange side.

Way to go, Furniture Row.

I really don't care what NASCAR says, or how much they hype it.
The Daytona 500 will never be the biggest race, as far as I'm concerned.
it will always be the Southern 500. This is the granddaddy of them all.
At the track too tough to die. Despite NASCAR's best efforts to kill it.
They took it's date. They took it's race, (at least they got the name back.)
This track is about as far from Cookie Cutter, as you can get.
This was my feel good story of the year. Well done guys.
We had a number of races decided on fuel mileage. Put me down as one
of the fans who think these fuel mileage races SUCK! NASCAR, (& they're
not the only ones) have been known to resort to a caution when they feel
that a race needs help. I'd dearly love to see them be honest,& up front about it.
Why not just throw a competition caution with 25 laps to go if it looks like fuel is going to be an issue.

Make it a timed stop. Give them 25 seconds, for final adjustments, fuel,
& tires. Then line them back up in the order they were running. Anyone
exceeding the time limit would go tailback. This would take out the fuel
& tire strategy. Then the race could be decided the way all races ought to
be decided. They could just race, & may the best car, & driver win. Sure
it's contrived, but with phantom debris cautions, the Chase, & the Top 35 Rule.
We're pretty much conditioned to contrived by now.

For the second year, we had a driver, out with a mysterious medical
condition. Last year Brian Vickers, this year Trevor Bayne.
Thankfully, both were resolved satisfactorily.
Speaking of Brian Vickers, Usually when a driver knows in advance that
he's losing his ride. The remaining time becomes an audition.
Brian appeared to have been auditioning for a ride in a demolition derby.

I expect that the Busch Brats, have been at this sibling rivalry for a very
long time. This season they seemed to be in a "can you top this"
competition. Back in the day, when the "Battling Bodines” were going at it.
They kept it in the family. If the Busch Brats were on that program, I think
the TV ratings would go up enough that sponsors would be coming out of the
woodwork, everyone would still have rides, & jobs. Instead they took their
frustrations out on everyone around them. How'd that work out guys?
Personally, I think Sprout won, but Baby Face is out of his ride. By mutual
agreement, he hastens to add, go figure.

One thing that struck me is that Dr. Jerry is a much more tolerant person
than I am. Was it just me, or did anyone else sense just the slightest note
of insincerity in Richard's apology? As a watch collector, I did admire his
attention to detail.

Note to NASCAR collectors, items from teams the Busch Brats have
been fired from could make an interesting collection. For as talented as
they are, they sure get around. Baby Face's Shell 22 stuff is probably on
super close out. Your chance for a good buy, from the good bye.

I seem to remember a song lyric, about "One being the loneliest number." If
Earnhardt- Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (what a mouthful, somebody's
not pulling their weight in that outfit) doesn't get their act together. They & Jamie
might find out how lonely it really is. They've made some changes, I just hope
they're enough. Next year could be very important for them.
I really admire the teams on limited budgets that show each week, to
actually race. Usually for not much more prize money than the S & P
teams take home for their 20 laps or so. I'd love to see these teams form
some kind of alliance along the lines of the old RAD, (Richard Childress,
Andy Petree, & Dale Earnhardt.) To share information, test results, etc.
This would allow all of them to do more with less. The big drawback to
anything like this actually happening, is the top 35 rule. As long as this is in
place they'd have a tough time working together. With such an alliance in
place, it should give them a better shot to out qualifying the S & P teams.

Junior wins most popular driver award. The Sun came up in the east,
this morning. Neither was much of a surprise.

Well, the Crew Chief Silly Season chips have mostly all fallen.
Still hearing rumbles about Zippy. Seems a little late for this to happen,
but as we saw with Darien Grubb, anything's possible. Be interesting to see how things shake out for all the new combinations.
As of this writing, the hot rumor is that Baby Face maybe picked up by
RPM. Haven't read too much about this from the King himself.
After what he's been through with his last partner, I'd hate to see
anyone thrust on him that he doesn't want. Richard's so straight laced
that he didn't even run the Busch Beer contingency sticker on his car,
& was thus ineligible for the Busch Clash for pole winners.
He & the elder brat would seem an odd mix. One other thing to be
considered is Ford. He dropped the brand like a bad habit when he
was the their defending Champion. Sometimes something that didn't
seem all that important at the time could come back to haunt him.

Well, I've done it. Missed another Snowball Derby. After I promised myself
this was the year. Guess I'll have to fall back on the Cub fans annual
refrain, "wait 'till next year". Bummer.



  1. Hi John, add #7 to your list. Get rid of the top 35 rule. Seeing as there are only about 33 viable teams that run each week, it's no longer needed.
    Good column by the way.

  2. Want to hear another useless statistic? Kyle Busch was ranked the #1 driver based on loop data. How did that work out for him? Even without him missing a race, he wouldn't have been close to the championship. Just shows you what a useless stat that is as well.

  3. Ditto on the top 35. Also a must is shoot out for POLE winners.

  4. Junior with a girlfreind??? He must rent her by the occasion.

    Junior's last girlfreind was Jeff Gordon.

    If junior's last name were Schmidlapp he would be shoveling shit at some stable. No talent here folks.

    I am sick of all this stuff.
    Let them run Mustangs and Challengers and Camaros. Throw in a couple Chrysler 300's and REAL Chargers. Oh yeah, rear wheel drive Toyotas and Nissans and anybody else that wants to throw a hat in that ring. No rear wheel drive toyota? too bad. run SUV's

    Stock stuff off the showroom floor, like they did years ago.