First off, congratulations, to Mr. Penske, Bad Brad, the entire team, & Dodge.
One thing I didn't understand, was Paul Wolfe, or Brad, whoever made the call to roll the dice, & stay out, when they didn't have to. They did lead a lap, but promptly lost all the track position they'd gained. Subsequently ran it so low on fuel that it at least burped, & went a lap down after the stop. Even if the problems hadn't befallen the 48 team, they probably would still have won it, but we'll never know. This was the kind of move you make when you need to play catch up. Instead the move put them in exactly the position, they were trying to avoid.
The Dodge deal is rather bittersweet, I don't know if anyone of consequence, from Dodge was in attendance or not. But if they were, they weren't very prominent in the victory celebration. It was stated, that the head of Fiat, was in Austin, for the F1 US Gran Prix. If you missed it, don't make the same mistake next year. It was even won by Hamilton running Vettel, down & passing him on track. In F1, go figure. Only jarring thing about it, was I used to think some of the NASCAR dudes, looked silly in cowboy hats. Check out the picture of Hamilton. Ba Ba Ba BAD. But then I guess if the trophy's in the picture, nothing else really matters.
Roger did make a point of the fact that there were no engine failures for the entire season. That's not only a great reflection on the engine that Dodge had given them.
As for the race itself, I was talking about it with a friend, his comment was, "I fell asleep," enough said.
But also showed what a great job all the people from the engine shop had done. Still scratching my head over this deal. Hard to believe that someone didn't step up, & buy this operation, or that after the switch, Penske will be running Roush engines, rather than building his own. I do understand, that there are a lot of things behind the scenes that we don't know, but it's a real shame seeing the deal go down like it has.
There are lots of things that I really don't care for in NASCAR, & the fact that it's either become too complicated, too expensive, or both for the teams to build their own engines, is right up there on my list.
At the start of the season, Rick Hendrick said, that he expected for all of his teams to make the chase, & for one of them to win it. Well, 50%'s not too bad an average. I think he could live with the outcome the way it worked out for the 48. The lug nut thing could have happened to anyone, & really just gave back what the 2 team had given them, the rear gear was the killer, & that was just one of those flukes of fate.
What would trouble me, (& even if it troubled anyone in the Hendrick organization you will never get so much as a hint of it) is that Jr. after firing up the faithful, with a win, & some strong runs, was completely missing in the chase, finishing 12th again.
Yes, I know he sat out 2 races, & I applaud the fact that he got himself checked out, & brought attention to the concussion issue.He wouldn't have done it, & admitted as much, had he not effectively already been eliminated from Championship contention.
Let's think about this, they had Brad, but with the cap on ownership there was no place for him at Hendrick, they couldn't, or didn't make a place for him at Stewart-Hass. One thing we've learned about Brad, is that he goes after what he wants, not sits back waiting for someone to give it to him. So now they have Jr. chronically under performing & next year they'll have Danica doing the same at SH. At what point do Championships, trump tee shirt sales? Because trust me, this won't be Brad's last one.
While I'm thinking about Hendrick drivers, let me give you my take on the Gordon, Boyer deal. Gordon has talked all around this deal, & still can't seem to be able to make up his mind how he feels about it. One of his last takes on it was that he did it for his team. Really? I've heard about taking one for the team, I think it's the first time for giving one for the team. He not only wrecked himself trying to wreck Clint, but when he finally pulled it off. He took out Legano, & Almarola as well. Definitely bush, (no pun intended) league. Then when Legano said he called Gordon asking for an apology, not only didn't he get one, he got hung up on. Really classy. It's a good thing I wasn't handing out the penalties, I'd have let him run Homestead, because even winning it was pretty hollow as it was so overshadowed. When someone deliberately takes out a Championship contender, I'd have had him set out the first race of the 20213 season.
One of the things Gordon used to try to justify this was Clint diving under him at Martinsville earlier, costing either Gordon, or Johnson the win. One thing Gordon needs to think about, is that he came into NASCAR, with besides his talent, a helmet, fire suit, gloves, & a pair of driving shoes. I've heard his net worth now rumored to be around 150 M, & that's after Brook got through with him. The fans have been complaining about the racing, & while Clint's move didn't work out like he wanted, at least he tried it. All Gordon's money ultimately came from the fans, & they didn't pay it to see drivers fall into line & follow each other around like so many little ducks.
Yeah, the Hail Mary's (hence the name) seldom work. But they're a part of what the fans pay to see. Remember Carl trying a bank shot off the wall, trying to win? It didn't work either, but at least he tried it.
Speaking for this fan, I want to see drivers take chances to win, not just fall in line & settle for a "good points day."