February 22, 2010
When I was a kid growing up my Uncle Jim was an engineer for Black and Veach. You recognize them more readily as Black and Decker. Coming home from work one evening he was stopped by a Motorcycle cop who claimed that he was doing 45 in a 25 mph speed zone. Uncle Jim took the ticket and made note of where the officer was and the fact that he was NOT at the time on the motorcycle. Later the next day he went back and measured the distance. When it was time for the court appearance Uncle Jim walked into the court sans attorney. He got to ask the officer a few questions.
He asked him how far was he from his motorcycle at the time he clocked him. The officer answered. Uncle Jim put it on his slide rule. He asked him how far they were from the spot when he stopped him. He answered Uncle Jim put the information on the Slide Rule. Uncle Jim asked "How fast did you say I was going?" He answered. Uncle Jim put the information on the Slide Rule. He then looked up and said, "Are you sure?" The officer said absolutely. Uncle Jim said that is really amazing. The officer said I don't understand and Uncle Jim said, "I didn't realize that a Motorcycle would go 212 mph from a dead stop." The speeding ticket was thrown out of court.
I was reminded of that incident this afternoon. And I am still puzzled. I was not aware that a Sprint Cup Engine produced enough horse power or had a strong enough drive train to go from 0 - 60 in 50 feet. Let alone go faster than that. But apparently, at least according to NASCAR, HMS power plants and RCR power plants can indeed do that with standard high test Sunco fuel. To me that is amazing.
What makes it even more amazing was that it was done at less 4,800 RPM's. That folks is some serious horsepower to ground. I means serious. That is almost a negative ratio of loss to production and frankly, I have NEVER seen that. Not even in top fuel.
Now I know that Lance and Alan said they had made some serious changes to the 88 and RC said they had made numerous changes to their cars and maybe it's just me but Lance and Gil seemed rather surprised that they had made that big of change to the engine and drive train. Dale Jr and Kevin were certainly surprised and very disbelieving of that change. Could be because once Dale Jr called the specifics on the radio there were NO more speeding penalties for anyone. Period.
Let's combine that with the caution that came out shortly after. Upon watching the replay, it appears that JPM blew up just past pit road entrance and before the leader crossed the line. However, the caution was not displayed to the field until the leader passed the 6 in the middle of the backstretch regardless of the fact that there was obviously fluids on the track.
Then we add in the fact that JJ was deemed the leader coming off the pit road on a yellow flag because he got in front of the leader of the race. This was decided made him the leader of the race at that time. Curiously everyone else went a FULL lap down. But they were behind the leader coming off pit road.
These kinds of situations do nothing to help JJ and Chad's preconceived ideas that they are given the advantage by NASCAR. I do not believe that for a minute. I think they fight as hard for theirs as anyone else. But perceptions create a false reality for many. After all we saw it happen right? But is what we saw what really happened? Probably not. But it does further the speculation that even with all the new rule changes and the declarations of we are going to let the drivers race, that NASCAR is still manipulating finishes and races. Should JJ and Chad be the ones to take the blame on that? No. Will they be? Undoubtedly.
But taking the heat for that situation maybe a lot easier than accepting the responsibility for a false or botched speeding call. After all those effected races and drivers over the last three to five years. It would mean that all those calls would then be suspect as to their accuracy. I believe Dale Jr that he was 100 RPM under his limit. I believe Kevin Harvick that he was well under the RPM's they recorded. But then I believed JPM last year too.
This turned into a situation where manipulation was necessary to cover up a mistake. This is a typical NASCAR move. Rather than admit they made a mistake they instead manipulate a situation to appear that they are faultless. It has been that way for several years now and the COT is only the biggest example.
Kudos to Dale Jr. for keeping a level head when it went wrong. For sticking to a level playing field and not placing blame. Kudos to the 88 team for realizing that the problem was a parts issue not the driver or the team. The only thing I noted this week is that the cross country trek seemed to have hurt the 88 teams performance in the pits with agonizingly slow pit stops and a glitch of stocking the pit box with parts and pieces. However it's the second race of the season and things still are coming together. Dale Jr. and the 88 team treated Jr. Nation to an exhibition of how to overcome and never to give up.
Major Kudos to Kevin Harvick for the first words being Oh My God is he OK. I hit him. I couldn't stop. Is he OK. Then coming back from the back with a determination that is very illustrative of why he was chosen to drive that car in the first place. That my friends ROCKS!
Congratulations to JJ and Chad on another great victory. You earned it. You raced clean and you over came. You showed why you are champions.
And many many thanks to the true heroes of the sport. The families that allow us to enjoy the talents of the drivers and teams every week. Even though it means they are away from them. There are not words to say how much your sacrifice means to us as fans.
Have a great week. See you in the land of tumbling dice.
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