User-agent: * Allow: / CH on Track: What a weekend!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

What a weekend!

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Danica Patri...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
What a weekend! The start of the 2012 NASCAR season has so far, been extraordinary. And the biggest race of the year hasn't even happened yet. It isn't even until tomorrow.

My heart skipped a beat when Jeff Gordon flipped during the Budweiser Shootout last Saturday night. I'm glad he walked away from that one. What a wild ride! In a way, that set the stage for what was to follow. 

Tony Stewart's wreck during practice this week gave us another hint. Then there was Danica Patrick's hard crash during the Duel races. It all led up to the first competitive race of the season--the truck race Friday night. 

Wow! It was a wreckfest. It is no wonder cup drivers were a little squeamish about pack racing during their two Daytona 500 practices. When final practice was reduced to just a handful of laps by a only a few drivers, Ryan Newman noted that there was simply more to lose than to learn by riding around in the pack. I'm sure he was right, given what kind of action has already been seen on the race track.

It isn't clear how the racing will look on Sunday for the Great American Race. I suspect it will be pretty mundane until the last few laps. At that point, there will probably be so much happening, we will be very grateful for the many camera angles because it is likely there will be too much to take it all in. 

For me it isn't all about the wrecks

This weekend certainly had some highlights--the kind of moments in racing that keep me coming back for more. Racing isn't just about the wrecks; not for me anyway. I like the human relations side of the sport. And there was certainly some of that. 

How about the fact that Danica Patrick's return to the race track after an earlier head-on collision with the wall resulted in earning the pole position for the Nationwide race? She is the first woman to do so. 

I stand by my earlier prediction that Danica is going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Another feel-good moment occurred Friday night when a rookie, who, in only his eighth career start--John King--won the truck race and is now leading the points in the series. 

If this is a promise of things to come, don't call me on Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday. I'm busy!