Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- Brickyard 400

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is in the mecca of American auto racing, Indianapolis, for this week's serving of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, BBQ-style, complete with grilled corn, plenty of Coke to wash it all down, and Cupcakes for dessert. Enjoy!


Jamie McMurray: as the race winner, he gets first billing. He passed race leader Kevin Harvick on a restart with 10 laps to go, then held off Harvick and Greg Biffle over those last 10 laps. Jamie Mac was strong throughout the race, being in the top 10 more often than not. He benefitted from a gutsy call by crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion in taking two tires on the last caution. History was made in two ways: with the win, McMurray becomes the third driver to win Daytona and the Brickyard in the same season, and car owner Chip Ganassi becomes the first owner to win the Daytona 500, Indy 500, and Brickyard 400 in the same season. Good job Cupcake!

Kevin Harvick: he had a strong car throughout the race and it looked like he was going to win his second Brickyard 400. A late caution bit him in the butt, as he was passed by McMurray on the ensuing restart. He did well to hold off Biffle, who was on four tires. (Harvick took two tires on the last pit stop.) It was a good points day for Harvick, as Jeff Gordon had issues late in the race and finished 23rd.

Greg Biffle: he was stout, especially in the middle part of the race in which he led. He did a good job in rallying late after a four tire pit stop on the final caution.

Clint Bowyer: while he wasn't a factor to win, he stayed in the top 5 for most of the race. He was strong, and did a good job in avoiding trouble.

Tony Stewart: Smoke did a great job in turning a marginal top 20 car into a fifth place car.

Joey Logano: he started in DFLville due to an engine change. He exhibited great patience in moving his way up and finishing in the top 10. (He finished 9th.) The top 10 finish was his first at Indy.

Juan Pablo Montoya: he led the most laps in the race, but an accident on Lap 145 ended his day.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Landon Cassill (he led a lap, one more than Edwards) and Bill Elliott.


Dave Blaney: he parked his car ON THE FIRST LAP. He would return and run 19 more laps before declaring himself done for the day. He was the first start and parker today.

Hendrick Motorsports: both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon had MAJOR issues. It was one of those kinds of races that tests men's souls to the core. Dale Earnhardt Jr was involved in a crash with Juan Pablo Montoya through no fault of his own; Jr had no room to move and plowed into Montoya. The only bright spot was Mark Martin, who led a couple of laps and finished 11th.


The race itself: One hundred sixty laps of single file racing. A driver couldn't get into the outside groove without getting loose. Add to that ESPN's coverage and you REALLY get ugly. And the WORST track on the circuit looms next week: Pocono. I HATE THAT TRACK! CAN WE LOSE POCONO FOR GOOD???

Those are my nominees for the race. Feel free to come in with yours.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Some Observations About Carl Edwards' Win

Last night, the Nationwide Series put on a show at Gateway, just outside of St. Louis. Early on, Brad Keselowski, the Series points leader, was dominant, then Carl Edwards became stout. A late caution bunched up the field for one final restart. Then the fireworks went off. Bad Brad got Edwards loose in Turn 1, but Edwards held his line. No problem there; good job by Edwards in holding his line. Then with 300 yards or so to go, Edwards punted Keselowski, who was leading at the time, into the wall. Huge problem there. Edwards took the checkered flag, while Keselowski finished 14th. The problem is two-fold: Keselowski was intentionally punted by Edwards, knowing the field was behind them, and Edwards pulled a chickenshit maneuver to win the race. I'd have had NO problem with Edwards winning had he outsprinted Keselowski to the finish line.

Here are some observations:
  • Edwards should have been stripped of his win IMMEDIATELY, then placed as the last driver on the lead lap. Reed Sorenson would have then been given the win, as he was in second at the time.
  • Google "Carl Edwards anger issues" and you'll find 18,400 matches about Edwards, his conflicts with Cup teammate Matt Kenseth, and other Cup drivers besides Keselowski.
  • The postrace interview with ESPN was telling. Edwards didn't exactly deny he did it deliberately. He was unapologetic as to how he won. It's like the fox being queried by the farmer about the chickens and the fox saying the coop door was open when he got there.
  • Edwards is/will be a marked man for the rest of the season. Not only by Keselowski, but Kurt Busch and possibly Kevin Harvick, other drivers that Edwards has had issues with.
  • Could this go much deeper? Meaning a Jack Roush vs. Roger Penske feud? Kurt Busch (Penske driver) used to drive for Roush back in the day, even winning a Cup title for him back in 2004. But he was run from Roush unceremoniously. Just saying.

Chickenshit Carl, hope you're happy with the win. If things balance out, it'll be your last win for awhile.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- 2010 400

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is on hand in the heart of the Midwest, Chicagoland, for this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, complete with Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza, washed down with copious amounts of the beverage of your choice. Enjoy!


David Reutimann: as the race winner, he gets first billing. He was strong in practice, strong in qualifying, and got stronger as the race went on. He FINALLY won one that went the distance! Night time was obviously the right time for Reuty, as once he overtook Jeff Gordon for the lead, he checked out on the field. Good job Reuty!

Carl Edwards: like Reutimann, he got stronger as the race went on. He even led a lap during a round of green flag pit stops, gaining the five bonus points he sorely needed. This run is what he sorely needed in order to improve his tenuous chances of making the Chase.

Jeff Gordon: he was at the point until late in the race, when Reutimann took over the lead. He took advantage of points leader Kevin Harvick's misfortune (more on that later) and cut Harvick's lead to 103 points.

Clint Bowyer: after his misfortune at Daytona last week, he came into the race sorely needing a good run. He got it. He now sits in 12th place, 15 points ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jamie McMurray: Cupcake started on the pole and stayed in the top 5 for the whole race. The McDonald's Chevrolet got a LOT of face time during the race, bringing cha-ching to McDonald's franchises throughout.

Jimmie Johnson: he led the first 93 laps of the race and ended up leading the most laps.

Honorable Mention: Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Paul Menard.


Joe Nemechek: he drew the short stick this week at the start and parkers' meeting in the Todd Bodine Meeting Room. He ran a grand total of 20 laps before declaring himself done for the day.

Kevin Harvick: as good as he was at Daytona, he was equally as bad at Chicagoland. The 29 crew totally missed on the setup and no matter how hard they tried to adjust, the 29 car got worse as the race went on. At one point, the car lost significant fuel pressure and had to go to the garage to replace the entire fuel system. But once Harvick got back out, he was as fast as the leaders--too bad he was 16 laps down when he returned to the track. A sub-Good for gaining two positions through attrition.


Jimmie Johnson: it's not common I put a guy in both the Good and Ugly categories, but tonight I must. His race went downhill after Lap 93, when he missed the committment line and lost the lead to McMurray. Then on Lap 138, he takes a slide through the grass when he got loose coming out of Turn 2. At the ensuing green flag, he restarts 24th. Then on Lap 174, he slapped the wall and had to pit, going three laps down.

Robby Gordon/Bill Elliott: Elliott cut a tire on Lap 180, hit the wall, and stopped into oncoming traffic. Gordon hit the brakes as hard as he could, but was unable to stop in time and T-boned Elliott. Fortunately both Gordon and Elliott were okay, but both drivers' days were ruined.

The race itself: it was a snoozefest, particuarly for the first 93 laps, when JJ threatened to run and hide from the field.

Those are my nominees for the race. Feel free to come in with yours!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The LeBron Hype In One Word: NAUSEATING

Consider me guilty.

Why, pray tell?

I didn't drink the LeBron James flavor Kool-Aid.

And so it goes. The hype surrounding James' free agency was WAY overdone, to the point of being nauseating. Instead of a breakdown of Lakers-Celtics in the Finals, we were subjected to LeBron's incessant mugging for ESPN. Once the Lakers defeated the Celtics in seven games, it became the LeBron Watch 24/7. WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS?? LeBron hasn't won SHIT in the NBA. How many Finals has he played in? ONE?? Even then, the Cavs were made into a speed bump along the San Antonio Spurs' destination to the NBA title.

Then we sports fans were subjected to an entire ONE HOUR special on the Four Letter. A one hour special on one of the most pampered, egotistical, selfish players on the planet! He singlehandedly prostituted the free agent process by having several teams come into Akron, Ohio, to meet with him and wine and dine him. I always thought that if a prominent player becomes a free agent, he GOES to potential teams to meet with them and to get an idea of what he may be getting into. Oh, that's right. He bastardized the process.

You want to know what I did instead? I had a doctor's appointment, then WENT SHOPPING. That's how NOT interested I was in The LeBron Show. Then on the way home, I listened to Michael Savage. Had I been home, I'd have probably watched Lifetime instead of The LeBron Show.

Now it's time to go both barrels and empty my magazine, so to speak. While LeBron deserves his share of blame, I blame his handlers, ESPN, and the sports media for overhyping a player that has never won a championship. Guess what? Adam Morrison has MORE rings than LeBron. So does DJ Mbenga, the 13th player on a 14-player rotation. Morrison has two rings with the Lakers and he's the 15th player on a 14-player rotation. For the record, LeBron signed with the Miami Heat.

I wonder how many Cavs fans will now become Heat fans because those fans drink the LeBron flavored Kool-Aid? I don't know for sure, but I think there will be MANY. And how will LeBron, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh share the ball? You can't split a ball into three! I, for one, am DAMN GLAD this hype is OVER. Now let's focus on the real sports: NFL, NASCAR, and baseball.

Note: this is a radical departure from my usual NASCAR-themed posts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- 2010 Coke Zero 400

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is at the crown jewel of NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway, for this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, served up with copious amounts of BBQ meats of your choice, grilled corn on the cob, and tossed salad, washed down with, what else? Coke Zero! Enjoy!


Kevin Harvick: as the race winner, he gets first billing. He led the most laps in the race, and it seemed he was able to move to the front at will, even when he was as far back as 16th. He had a stout car tonight and earned a hard-fought victory. He was also lucky in that he escaped the Big One that involved 18 cars with 12 laps to go. He was the last winner on Daytona's old pavement, as on Monday, the track will be repaved and ready to go for next year's 500.

Kasey Kahne: he was able to escape the Big One and kept his nose clean. His runner up finish was HUGE, as he moved up four positions in the standings. Although he never led a lap, he kept working his way towards the front. With the runner up finish, he keeps his Chase chances alive, as several drivers above him got caught up in earlier wrecks.

Jeff Gordon: he led some laps and escaped the Big One. He also moved up to second place in the standings, 212 points behind Harvick.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: another driver that escaped the Big One. Because of that, he finished fourth and improved two spots in the standings to 11th.

Steve Park: what else can you say about this man's perseverance? He was injured in a FREAK accident in a Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) race MANY years ago when his steering wheel column broke off in his hands during a caution and he veered into the path of an oncoming Larry Foyt. Park suffered a severe brain injury and it looked like his career was over. It wasn't until this year that he was given a clean bill of health to race in NASCAR again. Not only did he race tonight, he was in the top 10 late in the race driving for an underfunded team! Unfortunately, he faded late and finished 13th. If anyone deserves a Good, it's Steve Park. He'd have got a good just for starting the race. I think Park showed he can still get the job done.

Red Bull Racing: with Reed Sorenson (8th) and Scott Speed (10th), they finished strong. Neither driver led a lap, but both escaped the Big One.

Mike Bliss: he gets put in the #71 car right after Bobby Labonte left and scores a top 10. Go figure. Either Bliss has what it takes to get the job done, or Labonte's done. I say the latter, with some of the former.

Kurt Busch: he did a great job in coming back from the Big One to finish in the top 10, seventh, to be exact. He led a number of laps and was stout, particularly at the beginning of the race.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, David Reutimann.


Weather: rain delayed the race for close to an hour. Fortunately, the weather cleared long enough for the race to be run.


The Big One: the carnage involved 18 cars and started when Jeff Burton got loose. Burton was running in the top 5 at the time. There were several good cars that got caught up in the carnage, most notably Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman. Mark Martin's #5 car caught fire in the pits as the crew was attempting to repair the car. Martin had to be pulled from the car by two members of Johnson's crew and a NASCAR official. By the time he was pulled from the car, it was fully engulfed in flames. Fortunately, Martin is okay. But he had a harrowing few moments in the pits.

Those are my nominees for the race. Feel free to come in with yours!