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est. October 4, 2006

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Cheers and Jeers

The Chase Grid is Set, But That's Not the Story of Richmond
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By Carol Einarsson | 09/13/2016
Category: Cheers and Jeers
 




JEERS to stitches for Miss Ashlyn, but nobody said why!

CHEERS to whomever had a nice, long chat with Kevin Harvick, because clearly SOMEone did.

CHEERS to Lt Col Ed Hamlin for a lovely invocation, and the US National Marine Corps Band for the anthem as it was meant to sound.

CHEERS to Pete Larson for the command to start. You know how those groups can go, but to have one guy out front with a microphone, and all the rest thinking they'll be heard, too -- that worked out as perfectly as when Andy muted Barney's microphone for the church chorus.

CHEERS to full stands!  Fullish, at least!

CHEERS to "When you get to the white line, stop talking." I can think of at least a handful of applications where I'd like to say that to someone.

JEERS to big yellow water barrels against one of the inside pit walls because where yellow barrels are, SAFER barriers are not.

CHEERS to Chris Buescher and David Ragan's friendship. I wonder if David has the same kind of stories to tell about his friend Chris as Kyle Petty has to tell about Michael Waltrip.

JEERS to no replay of Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon. His garage interview was the first we knew anyone else had been involved!

JEERS to Tony spun in the pits, but his pit stop was still faster than Kevin Harvick's old team.

JEERS to the famed driver 24 getting into the modern day 24. Bad form, Jeff, not being able to read your spotter's mind and communicate telepathically. And you call yourself a champion...

JEERS to no caution for Almirola and his tire. He wasn't shedding rubber all about the track??

CHEERS to JJ, Danica, and Chris Buescher racing together. One of these things is not like the other...

CHEERS to Denny's Coke commercial, drinking in slow motion. Even still, a faster pit stop than Kevin Harvick's old crew.

CHEERS to Paul Menard and Greg Biffle -- either or both could have wrecked and it would have been perfectly understandable. But they didn't!

JEERS to the silver numbers on the 19 car. I don't know why, but it looks blurred when it goes by. His teammates' silver numbers don't have that same effect, so it must be the combination of the silver numbers and the color of his car.

JEERS to Denny's block in the pits, and Newman stuck. That said, Mr. Newman, if you pit in the back of your own box to ensure you always have the front to use to pull out, that won't happen to you!

CHEERS to showing the 48 pit, which as Jeff Burton said, just didn't look like a Chad Knaus pit crew! They were just wandering about, and one guy looked like he'd walked into a room and forgotten what he came for. Oh yeah, that wrench. I'll need that wrench. And yet... still faster than Kevin Harvick's old team!

JEERS to Menard in the wall. Spotter anyone??

CHEERS to a gas man committed to his job and willing to be thrown around like a rag doll rather than let go of that can! And then.. uh, sorry about dousing you with that fuel, buddy.

JEERS to asking the question why we have a limit on tires and Steve Letarte never getting around to the answer. NASCAR and GOODYEAR work together, and there's a history.  What??

CHEERS to Kasey up there on his own. If he's to win, we want him to do it without benefit of any teammate help, because if he can pull that off, we don't want the possibility of a single doubt that his teammates helped him.

CHEERS to Martin Truex recovering from that pit road speeding penalty and being right back in the thick of things!

CHEERS to "Do whatever they DON'T do!" That should be the mantra of this and every Richmond race before The Chase because when that philosophy is applied, the best stories are born!

CHEERS to Matt Kenseth already in The Chase, and for that, BK should be quite thankful. If that incident had cost Kenseth a chance, we're pretty sure Brad would have regretted it. CHEERS also to "I'm sure he'll tweet that it wasn't his fault..." We're glad to know Matt the Brat follows along on Twitter!

JEERS to Brad, though, not for the missed shift, but for the desperate driving that followed. He's in The Chase, and he just doesn't have to drive desperate when it means other guys get wrecked.

JEERS to what happened next, possibly the story of the year... In short, Ryan got into Tony. Carl got into Ryan. Ryan again bounced off of Tony. And again, Carl got into Ryan, who once more got into Tony. David Ragan hit Ryan hard, Dylan Lupton parked on top of Ryan, and two cars were on fire. But that was nothing in the big picture...

CHEERS to Ryan Newman checking on young Dylan Lupton before he dismounted his car. It wasn't really surprising, but it was still nice to see.

CHEERS to David Ragan's interview. You okay? "Yeah, just my feelings are hurt." He may not be the biggest talent on the track, but he seems to be a genuinely nice guy. A terrifically nice guy, in fact.

JEERS to Tony Stewart driving dangerously. NASCAR has created this situation where a handful of guys every year find themselves at Richmond in a last-chance scenario, and year after year, we see chances taken by guys that wouldn't normally drive so aggressively. The first instance of this was one many years ago, and I know my assistant will also remember, the race we dubbed "Desperate DJ". A normally clean driver seemingly willing to chase down and take out anyone and everyone he had to. "Desperate" is the best word I can find to describe what happens in this final race before The Chase, year after year. But Tony was already IN The Chase. He wasn't desperate. And if you drive that way, wrecking guys for no other reason than your oversized ego and sense of entitlement, then you're not desperate, you're just an ass. You wanna run your ugly mouth after the race, that's one thing, but putting lives in danger is quite another. What if the 23 had pummeled the driver's door when he hit Ryan Newman? What if Lupton was hurt? What if David Ragan had been unable to exit his burning car?

JEERS that the rest of the race is pretty much a blur in my memory because of the fall-out from that wreck, but...

CHEERS to Denny Hamlin winning at his home track! Lots of scenarios were possible in the closing laps, and we weren't sure which one we wanted. It would have been a great story if Kasey had won a race, giving him a spot in The Chase in the most unlikely of cars, that fourth car at Hendrick, the one known mostly as the HMS R&D car. But if he did win, that puts Jamie out. And while he hasn't won a race, we want Jamie in every Chase simply because he missed the opportunity to race for a Championship that one year when he had the best chance. Yes, NASCAR changed the entry rules for gaining a berth, but I think for J-Mac, it's too little, too late. He should just get to be in every Chase until he retires. And if we're honest, we were also briefly entertaining the idea that with the craziness in front of her, and the possibility of a wreck, what if Danica won? What an upset!! Then we laughed and laughed!

And finally,

Let's get to the worst part of the night,...  (click the link because this has to be a stand-alone page)

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Comments:
tybeecat
09/12/2016 6:29 pm (1)
I think they should call any changes to the chase the Jamie McMurray clause. Every year he came close and then the next year they changes they made would have made him eligible. I thought I was the only one who noticed that.
a different Bill
09/12/2016 6:56 pm (2)
I am of the opinion that the cut-off race for the chase (or maybe the last two) should be at a cookie cutter track. Atlanta, Texas, California, Kansas, Chicago...one of the races people normally sleep through. At least at those tracks drivers can get away from each other. As an added bonus it would add some drama to what is normally a snoozefest.
KBTOYS
09/13/2016 5:20 am (3)
Mega CHEERS to "FULLISH", Love it!

JEERS to Tony and his weird entitled BS two weeks in a row! It is Tony however and his entitlement over the years that have brought us to what we have now, no push back on his asinine behavior. We have witnessed last year how race manipulation can sideline legitimate contenders to ruin because of personal ego and vendetta. And in reality NASCAR should have seen that coming, the aftermath was basically a slap on the wrist. How dare one persons ego create the damage it did. Shameful.

...Now it seems they have the likely potential for the another older spoiled driver to do exactly what happened last year. After all this year if Tony decided you done him wrong, from not holding the door open for him or not taking the wrapper off his straw when he wants to drink his Big Gulp, you might be a target with no hope of finishing the race sponsors expected you to!

MANIPULATION IS A REAL POSSIBILITY!

The lustful media are already talking about that today! The setup, while NASCAR sees tension and excitement, many see ego's like bratty children dictating how it is going to be and who will advance. Last year Kenseth and we all know the outcome of the BS "Winner". Sounds like Stewart is primed for the same insanity...as well as the old baby himself ragging on Keselowski this past race. Seems like a setup of "validation" because Matty was not happy this race, and he will ram Keselowski into the wall at one of the "pivotal" races..IMO! Media Gold!
Bill B
09/13/2016 5:49 am (4)
Loved the "Harvick's old team pit stop" running joke throughout the column.

I agree with your assessment of Tony Stewart even though in this case I think Ryan was the desperado. I have seen Tony get angry and use his car as a weapon too many times over the years. He has an evil side that comes out when he's competing.

As for Desperate DJ, that actually was at Bristol in 2005, not Richmond. And, coincidentally, Ryan Newman was also the other driver involved in that skirmish.

Now comes the ridiculous part of the season, the contrived chase with the elimination rounds to see who the luckiest driver is.
grumpyone
09/13/2016 7:21 am (5)
Just got a couple of things to get off my chest. First, JEERS to Tony Stewart purposely wrecking two drivers in two weeks. The second wreck caused a lot of other teams to lose money because of his idiocy. JEERS to NASCAR for not immediately calling him to the hauler. JEERS to Stewart's attitude, period. And one final JEERS to NASCAR who will do nothing to Stewart but last year parked the 20 for purposely wrecking the 22. Got to have Tony in the chase don't they?? Thought so.
possum
09/14/2016 6:13 pm (6)
JEERS to the JEERS on the yellow barrels. The SAFER barrier isn't the be-all and end-all of safety. As it happens, the yellow barrels do a better job of absorbing crash energy than a SAFER barrier would do - and while you obviously can't put them on the outside wall, in places where there's space for them they're a better solution.

Apropos of Letarte's tire comment, I put some thoughts on that in the Forum...

John

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