So, what did we learn in Las Vegas?
Well, we learned that sometimes the best car on the day does not win, leaving the bubbly to second best. We learned that Saturday when Mark Martin found himself in front on the last lap of the Nationwide race after Brad Keselowski found the fence. We learned that Sunday, when Carl Edwards put Tony Stewart behind him for good to win his third over the last five events. It was enough to make Carl flip out.
[media-credit id=41 align=”alignright” width=”283″][/media-credit]We learned that hoses can get hooked on a car, flipping air wrenches out of the pit box. The resulting penalty moved Stewart from first to outside the top twenty with a hundred laps to go. He got back in front after going for two tires on one stop, but when he needed four the next time out, Edwards went for the pair that left him the victor, with Stewart the runner-up.
We learned that Edwards better be careful in Bristol. It seems that you win one day, and wind up in the garage early the next. The same fate that awaited Trevor Bayne after Daytona bit Jeff Gordon on Sunday when he cut a tire and discovered the wall. First one week, 36th the next, as those of us old enough remember how the thrill of victory can turn into the agony of defeat. We miss you Jim McKay.
We learned that Danica Patrick is not just a pretty face. Okay, I did see the Sports Illustrated layout, but I’m talking about her finishing fourth on Saturday. Best finish ever by a woman in one of NASCAR’s top three racing series. The previous best was by Sara Christian, who ran fifth at Pittsburgh in 1949. She ran in seven races over two seasons and never was featured as a pin-up girl to my knowledge.
We learned that Greg Biffle can get downright sarcastic when things slide into the toilet. No matter how they tried, they just could not dump enough fuel into the car. Biffle even ran out of petrol at one point and sat in the pit box as he tried to refire the beast. He wound up 28th, three laps down. 3-M Post It was his sponsor, “Shove It!” was what probably was on the driver’s mind. Yes, the Biff was miffed on Sunday.
We learned a few things about Matt Kenseth. After a caution, the 2003 champion took the green flag on Lap 13 only to discover he had a flat. In he came, down he went on the scoring tower, but he came back to claim11th at the end of the day. Good, yes, but what about him nudging young Mr. Bayne into the fence with 50 to go? Just a racing deal my sweet patoot.
We learned just how much fun it is to watch Kyle Busch drive a race car. He makes like a kamikaze in diving in where angels fear to tread. Sometimes he catches the grass when making a pass and goes for a skid into a wall. Sometimes he cuts a tire and finds the fence. Sometimes he blows up real good. 30th Saturday, 38th Sunday, but damned entertaining.
We learned that the feud between Robby Gordon and Kevin Conway has been extenzed into this season, as the pair had a dust up over the weekend at the track. Not sure about the actual spark of this one, but Conway says Gordon owes him some cash, while Gordon claims Conway owes him about 30 times as much. It all stems from a sponsorship deal involving that product endorsed by Jimmy Johnson, the former football coach and Survivor…and not the driver. Conway went to the cops over the altercation and Gordon was put on special emergency probation That, as they say, is the long and the short of it. All this tension. Where is Happy Bob when you need him?
I’ve learned that it is best to quit while you are ahead. For instance, I could ask what one gets when you combine Viagra with Extenze, but this is a racing site and has nothing to do with pole vaulting. Okay, I guess I haven’t learned a damned thing.
Bristol is next on the dance card, a track where the winner has been a guy named Busch half the time over the past nine years. Kurt has five of them, Kyle four, including three of the past four run there. The defending champ of the spring race is some fellow by the name of Johnson. As the Sprint boys take next Sunday off, the trucks return to Darlington this Saturday night. Enjoy the week.