Ramblings from Michigan

I had the best seat of anyone at Michigan International Speedway this past weekend.  That’s because I’m the track announcer there and my “
office” is directly above the start/finish line several stories up.  From there I can see the entire track and roughly 20 miles in any direction. What I saw out my window this weekend was some fantastic racing.

Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide race was as exciting as it could get with Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch battling for the win when suddenly Brad Keselowski came out of nowhere to take the checkered flag.

I’ll be honest, I was loudly cheering Brad on to victory.  I couldn’t help myself.  I know Brad and his entire family since they are from the metro Detroit area and on top of that, they are great people.  It also made the kind of story you only dream about.  “Local kid holds off big names to win at home track.”

The little scuffle and words between Busch and Vickers post-race only added to the buzz that was created by the finish.  In my estimation, Busch had absolutely nothing to bitch about.  Vickers did move him to the bottom of the track, but wasn’t even close to running him into the grass.  Where Busch was on the main straightaway was exactly where many of the drivers went during qualifying. 

Sunday’s Carfax 400 was the usual fuel mileage affair but that didn’t lessen it’s excitement.  There was some outstanding racing during the day and I’ve never seen so many four-wide battles on the track as I did on Sunday.

I know it might not have been door handle to door handle for the finish, but the COT did seem to be racey and there was plenty of excitement throughout the field all day long.  Maybe it’s time for drivers to just shut up about the car and put their foot down as hard on the throttle as they can.

That brings me to Dale Earnhardt, Jr.  He did have a great run on Sunday finishing third, but I’m not sure he would have without the cars in front of him having to go into fuel conservation mode.  Doesn’t really matter though, he earned his third place finish. My problem is what he said on Friday.

Junior came out saying Nascar needed to make changes to the COT now. While we all know there are things Nascar needs to do with the car, its not a desperate situation.  (Remember when we had to have the “Stimulus Bill” passed right now or the country was doomed!)

To me, it was Junior finding an excuse for running poorly.  I say that because 5 Hendrick cars with Hendrick engines and Hendrick engineering are in the top 12 in points.  (I count Stewart-Haas cars here as that’s the package they have.)

Obviously the car can do better than what Junior has been doing in it.  I’m beginning to wonder if somehow he’s gotten psyched out by the COT and just can’t adjust his style to today’s reality.  We’ll see if the Michigan finish changes his mindset.

All in all it was a great weekend of racing at Michigan and one that should get Nascar fans buzzing about two of the best races of the season.

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