The Usual Suspect

Another great race is in the can.

I stole. I cheated. At least that’s how I felt after the Jeff Byrd Food City 500. I must owe somebody something besides the few cents I’ll have to pay Duke Energy for the electricity that powered my TV.

Occasionally you might feel cheated after paying good money to witness a concert, movie, or some other event (always, the opera). You may get that same feeling when attending a race that is either postponed or cut short due to weather. Other than that, you always get your money’s worth when you go to a race.

However, while watching from home, one can only legitimately gripe about the way the raceĀ  is broadcast. Every race has its moments that make you say “That was worth the price of admission”. Often, if you’re not there, you miss those moments since TV focuses on the leaders or the big names. This was another one of those that had it all – well, almost all. So we didn’t have the photo finish. We pretty much had everything else.

I’ll have to send a little extra to Victory Junction Camp. Or NPR.

I didn’t pay attention to every lap of Saturday’s race, but here’s what I noticed. While the announcers often referred to car numbers and driver names during their description of the action, I recall only Rusty refer to a sponsor name – in particular, Pilot/Flying J. I’m sure it was only because, as he said, their corporate headquarters is nearby.

3.27.66: At Atlanta, Jim Hurtubise got his one and only win. 2nd place Fred Lorenzen said Jim deserved the win because he ran as hard the last 5 laps as he did the first 5. Later, Jim admitted he carried a wrench in the car to lower the body during the race. On the cool down lap, he tossed the wrench into the infield on the backstretch. He thought Nascar might get suspicious if they found a wrench in the car during post race inspection.

Speaking of Kyle Busch. In his short career, he’s won on a high-banked 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile, flat and high-banked 1 mile, flat and high-banked 1.5 mile, 2 mile, Daytona, Dega and Darlington, and both road courses. I guess Martinsville is the track truly “too tough to tame” – at least for him so far.

If Ned were in the booth we’d know what’s up with Tim Steele.

Ref:, Greg Fielden’s “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing”, Richard Sowers’ “The Complete Statistical History of Stock-Car Racing”.


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