NASCAR will look you in the eye, point their finger in your chest, square their jaw and absolutely refute any connection between its race product and wrasslin. Yet, that's exactly the pre-determined, amateurish, slop they put out there with this farce of a wasted weekend. If the Cup series is so grand (which I believe it is), they ought to be running for points -or- giving the drivers a well-deserved weekend off so they can put on a better race for fans in future, legitimate races. I think the whole concept is obsolete. I'll likely write a separate entry on that topic alone.
Nonetheless, they ran it. I watched it. And now a few takeaways for me.
- A popular win by arguably the sport's latest most popular driver, Smoke.
- Fans boo Kyle Busch - a lot - when he wins. And they cheer - a lot - if he leaves a race early. I don't do either. But I do watch him closely. The moves this guy makes are amazing. On a restart, he immediately jumped to the outside and flirted with the wall as they barreled down into turn 1. When the caution came out, NASCAR said 'no sir' we'll have none of that. So Kyle said fine & immediately buried his way like a meat in the sandwich between Gordon and Kenseth. You shouldn't be able to make that move - yet he did. And he does it with increasing regularity. The last driver who I remember to make such bold moves was Ernie Irvan. But more than not, Irvan never could make the moves stick - or any hero move he made early would generally be offset by a goat move later.
- Ryan Newman's near win. Not because I was pulling for him but because I wanted NASCAR to have egg on their face. Flyin Ryan had a monster run at the end - until he, Kyle and Gordon clanged together. But he should never have been in that position. He lost a lap early and should have lost a 2nd one had it not been for the incestuous sandbagging by Jimmie Johnson. Being 1 lap down, NASCAR gave the 39 the 'lucky dawg' free pass to get his lap back. When its a supposed all-star race with a million bucks to win, you don't give out friggin' charity laps! I hate the dawg anyway, but its particularly unnecessary in a race of this type.
- Single file racing in the hooligan race - Hornish gets out front. Hornish leads. Hornish wins. Good for Penske I guess. Congrats to Sam for winning...nothing. You could have had the same perks as the 2nd place guy, Jamie McMurray. Nothing against either of them. It was just a bad race. I'm afraid I may see 390 laps of that same crap at the 600 once we get the first 10 behind us.
- A burnout 'competition' with Cup drivers who aren't allowed to burn out Cup cars? Just to pimp out Jeff Gordon's driving school?
- Darrell Waltrip's commentary - DW: Look at Newman's splitter. Its dragging. Something's broken on the car. 39 Spotter: Ryan, your splitter's fine. DW: silence
- No real explanation from anyone as to why Dale Jr. was pimping JR Motorsports on his hood, hats, and uni. Is the economy suffering so bad that National Guard and Amp opted out of the all star event and a replacement couldn't be found?
- The photographer who was almost in the wrong place at the wrong time during Friday night's truck race. Mike Skinner had a nasty wreck that looked like it could have been the 2nd coming of Carl Edwards' wild Dega ride. When the photog saw Skinner's truck a'comin, I'm sure first he said it and then he did it! - (Check out around 1:20 mark of the video.)
- Ric Flair serving as a burnout judge? Too bad he wasn't a 'burnout' competitor. He would have won hands down.
- Ric Flair - AGAIN??? - introducing Joey Logano?
- A singer named Jessie James? Who tried to look like Danica?
- Joey Lagono? The fan's choice? Uhh...no. A make-up, compensatory selection for Coach Gibbs and Home Depot because Smoke's departure meant no 20 otherwise? Uhhh...yes.
- Jeremy Mayfield v. NASCAR - coming soon to a courthouse near you - Someone is lying big time in this one.
- Speed TV's announcers hype pre, during, and post race - time to go for the dough, checkers or wreckers, in it to win it, Krista Voda - "no other sport has all star race like this one", Jimmy Spencer - "I'll remember this one as one of the best all star races ever", Kenny Wallace - "he's ready to fly and not afraid to die", DW/Larry Mc - "Have you ever...?" "No I haven't." Yes we have fellas - many times - matter of fact BOTH of you have been involved in Winstons/All Stars with more drama than this year's entry.