NASCAR: Not Your Usual Loudon

April GatesCorrespondent IJune 29, 2009

LOUDON, NH - JUNE 28:  David Stremme, driver of the #12 Penske Dodge, races Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, and Reed Sorenson, driver of the #43 McDonald's McCafe Dodge, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 28, 2009 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

What is typical for one race may be atypical of another.  Case in point: Loudon, NH and the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301. 

Despite having the field set with the points standings, what began with a rained-out qualifying ended up being a pretty exciting race on Sunday.

I wasn't able to watch from home, so it was a very different race.

A few things became apparent to me as the race began. First off, I realized that this was not going to be a fun race to watch because a) I was unable to watch from the comfort of my big comfy couch, and was without my race aids (my laptop with's Raceview and in-car audio), and b) we're racing in Loudon.

Early on, I thought to myself, "Boy this is going to be a snooze-fest!" You know there are just times that I don't care to see Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson race one more lap, or win one more race.

Sometimes I think if I have to listen to one more race reporter talk about their stats I might have to stuff my ears with toilet paper.

Now, I know full well there are millions of people out there that just love those two, but I'm not really one of them. I understand that they aren't running the races for little ol' me, but occasionally I do like to see someone else win a race, or, at the very least, run up front for a spell.  

I've always been a champion for the privilege of being able to listen to drivers/teams in-car audio communications. I think it's a real treat, and a great way to really hear what's going on with your driver's car. Why is that car slowing down? What adjustments are they going to make on the next stop? Why did they only take two instead of four? 

A myriad of questions are answered each week just by listening to Kenny and Kasey talk on the radio. Not being able to hear the exchanges between driver and crew chief makes a huge difference in knowing what's going on with your driver while they are in the car and on the track, not to mention how that's affecting his race. 

Watching a race without the benefit of in-car audio really affects how much I'm enjoying the race. Call me nosy, but I guess I just want to know it all.

What started off with rain being the biggest factor in no actual qualifying, ended the race as well. I'd say fifty laps into the race it became apparent that this wasn't going to be just your run-of-the-mill boring race at Loudon.

Rain was off in the distance, but was closing in fast, which made the drivers drive more aggressively, which in turn made for some pretty exciting racing. 

As awful as it sounds, I like it when they wreck. Yes, I will admit, I get a perverse giggle when I see my least favorites out of the race or heavily damaged. I make no apologies, as long as no one is injured.

Who knew there would be a, "big one" at Loudon, but there was. I'm thankful my driver adeptly maneuvered through it safely. Without the benefit of in-car audio I wasn't able to hear Kole talk him through it, which I missed.  

So when rain did finally become a factor in the outcome of the race, we were almost to the checkers. Thirty-something laps to go and it would have been over anyway. 

Could young Logano have kept the rest of the pack at bay long enough to seal the deal? I think so.

He has one of the best crew chiefs out there in Greg Zippadelli. Zippy is a talented and very knowledgeable master atop the pit box. I have to say that young Logano's driving has greatly improved. He has been giving some solid performances on track, and his Chase points prove it. 

So that brings to me the question: is it fair that when races are called for rain the leader at that point is the winner? 

I know there are lots of folks out there who say no, but I'm gonna have to go with yes in this case.  

Smart maneuvering, great pit strategy, great driving, and keeping your nose clean are all things that contributed to him being in the right place at the right time, and ultimately him being in the lead when the race was red flagged. 

My driver has been the benefactor of that call before. Did I doubt his having earned the win regardless of how he got it? Nope. He raced his way there. The field didn't pull over and let him by. He drove his car there fair and square, just like Joey Logano did. He was in the right place at the right time, the lead. 

After all, isn't that where they were all racing to anyway?