The early part of the race was disheartening as I watched a very frustrated Ryan Newman struggle with an ill-handling racecar. I have to hand it to his crew, however, because they pulled together to get the car drivable again. And the two-tire strategy to get track position was just what the doctor ordered. It was enjoyable to watch Ryan start picking off positions once again. This race could have been a total disaster for him in the points standings, but they pulled it out, leaving him with a no-gain, no-loss scenario. The way this race started today, that is good enough for me. Ryan remains 9th in the points standings. The pressure is really on, however.
A few of my other observations in this race include:
- Congratulations to Brian Vickers. He deserved to win one. He fought hard, especially when considering his run yesterday when he was so close.
- If I were Jimmy Johnson, I wouldn't listen to Chad Knaus next time he wants to try the fuel strategy game. Johnson finished 33rd. That marks twice at Michigan that he led most of the laps of the race and came up short at the end.
- Good run for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. However, even though it has been some time since he ran well enough to gush over, it was disgusting to hear the ESPN guys, especially Andy Petrie rave over how Dale Earnhardt, Jr. could win this race, even though he was running sixth. Yes he was the fastest on the track at the time, but that has happened before only to see him lose it and smack into the wall. Can we not have a little reality check boys? They actually put up a graphic showing Jimmy Johnson, Brian Vickers, and Dale Jr. as the commentators talked about the amount of fuel each had left. Trouble is they were running first, second, and sixth at the time. C'mon! They were practically salivating over the possibility that Jr. could win this race, totally discounting the other drivers ahead of him, not to mention those behind him who could have come from behind to win it. This Dale Jr. thing is just a wee bit sickening!
- Kyle Busch was not a factor in today's race. And I'll bet he wasn't happy about Vickers' win after the way the two behaved in yesterday's Nationwide race.
- Poor Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya. They were doing great until lady luck bit them where the sun doesn't shine.