Monday, June 13, 2005
Carl Edwards- the Winner!- during Practice
Sunday June 12, 2005
Don’t go to the pits on Sunday at Pocono. We didn’t see anything. We stood nose to back with thousands of other fans trying to walk on pit lane. Rich and I shortly gave up trying to take photos of pit boxes, etc. and returned to the RV for lunch. I felt sorry for anybody on a guided tour, they wouldn’t have seen anything, either.
Our seats were at the entrance to pit road about five rows down from the Terrace Club. Not bad. We could see a decent amount of the track and the Nextel Vision definitely assisted us in watching the action. The benches are narrow with no backs. You can rent a cushioned seat with a back for $7.00. I dunno $80 and I need to spend more to sit marginally comfy? Gimme a break.
Carl Edwards! I got to watch him do a backflip! He definitely had the dominant car. He worked his way from the rear of the field, slowly eating up the competition. The other leaders, notably Vickers and Waltrip, drove away from the field. Edwards was the only one that actually caught the leader- three times over.
Maybe the new gear rules required some rookie mentality to figure it all out. Edwards was told repeatedly by his spotter to just stand on the pedal. That worked. When Vickers saw Edwards coming for the second time, he cried over the radio “How many times could I shift every lap and not hurt the engine?”
He was told, “Zero.”
There was a pause…he despondently replied, “Oh.”
The end of it all was staring him in the rear view mirror. This was Carl’s day.
Bad days…there were a few. Lil E’- had three tires go flat on him. His radio was awful silent after the first one caused him to lose the lead lap.
Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Ricky Rudd, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Scott Riggs all suffered various tire and engine maladies. Bobby Labonte’s Lap 199 crash was beyond cruel. Jason Leffler as well- none of that was anyone’s fault. Good video from the wreck, though.
Jeff Gordon. A 9th place finish was a hard day’s work. Impressive in its refusal to give up. Hendrick in general had a great day: Vickers 2nd, Busch 5th, Johnson 7th, Gordon 9th and even Terry Labonte 12th. If that isn’t dominance, I don’t know what is.
Vickers, Busch and Johnson had cars that were simply as good as where they finished. The entire day was spent generally in the same spot.
Biffle! How could I forget! His engine! Jimmie gets to keep his lead.
Tires…Goodyear said the cars were running too far down and the rumble strips were chewing up the front lefts. That’s supposedly why we say so many dramatic blow-outs. I guess we’ll see what happens when the Cup series returns to Pocono in a few more weeks.
Well, I guess that’s about it. Burgers are cooking and the traffic jam is on.
My ultimate decision: Pocono is well worth visiting. Watching the race here is no better or worse than other facilities I’ve visited. If you want up-close action, then visit a local track. But if you want to see the big boys, enjoy yourself in the Pocono mountains.