Some midweek observations on motorsports from from David Poole, beat writer for The Charlotte Observer:
No, really, walk this way
Still believe NASCAR doesn't need a traveling safety team? Did you see Dario Franchitti being walked to the ambulance after his Saturday crash at Talladega on what turned out to be a broken ankle?
Never miss a local story.
Get over it
People need to get off Kevin Lepage's back.
Lepage pulled up onto the track into the middle of the lead pack in Saturday’s race at Talladega and caused an awful wreck. Lepage didn't cover himself in glory with his immediate reaction, but later he stood up and issued a full apology.
He can't make it so the wreck didn't happen. But some fans say Lepage should be suspended or even have his privilege of driving in a NASCAR race rescinded.
That's absurd. The guy messed up. Let him get up off the floor already.
The name game
It's 134 days until the drag strip at Lowe's Motor Speedway opens for the inaugural National Hot Rod Association event.
That's plenty of time for Bruton Smith to come to his senses and change the name from the one picked last week. (To spare him embarrassment I won't mention it again here.)
I like The Main Drag @ Concord. But there has to be a hundred names better than the one chosen.
MY TWO CENTS
Oh, yeah? Says who?!
Every time there's a race at Talladega, somebody is always trying to make a controversy out of who's mad at whom because of some perceived slight perpetrated by someone in the draft.
There are fans who actually believe, for instance, that Greg Biffle made a move on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race Saturday that cost him several positions in the final results, and that Biffle made that move intentionally because he refused to help Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the draft.
That, of course, is preposterous.
Biffle tried something and it didn't work. He had about half of the blink of an eye to make the decision WHILE he was running 200 mph, but people spend days afterward with tapes of the race looking at every twitch of the wheel and ascribing all manner of motivation to it.
There's in-car audio of Jeff Gordon expressing displeasure over how Earnhardt Jr. handled a drafting opportunity in Sunday's Cup race. Gordon thought Earnhardt Jr. could have helped him out more, now that they're teammates.
Gordon is probably right, and who knows, if you showed Earnhardt Jr. film of it after the fact he might even agree he hung his fellow Hendrick Motorsports driver out.
Earnhardt Jr. could have been reacting to something in terms of how it impacted him and his car and made a move that might not have helped Gordon. Or, he simply might have made a mistake.
Either way, again that's happening faster than you can imagine it. Not everybody's going to get it right every time, no matter what his good intentions might be.
By The Numbers
45 - Streak of Talladega races in which at least one Chevrolet had finished in the top five before Sunday. The last time it had happened was in May 1985.
10 - Streak of Cup races at Richmond in which there has been a different pole winner.