Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- Amp Energy 500

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is deep in the heart of Dixie, Big Bad Dega, to bring you this week's version of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, complete with all the fixin's you could ever want, and washed down with plenty of Amp Energy drink. Enjoy!


Clint Bowyer: as the race winner, he gets first billing. He had a stout car all day long, and got a final push from Juan Pablo Montoya right before the caution came out on the final lap. (IMO, Bowyer owes Montoya a favor, but that's just me.) The 33 and 42 were strong drafting partners all day, much like the 1 and 29 in the spring.

Kevin Harvick: he was edged out at the end. But the real story is Harvick taking a beat-up race car and finishing second. It was beat up when Marcos Ambrose was tagged and collected Harvick, causing significant damage to the nose of the #29. After patchwork repair, Harvick moved up 12 spots right after the restart. And from sixth place on the final restart, Harvick led going into the final lap, but was passed by Bowyer. Harvick gained 24 points on the points leader, Jimmie Johnson. Now he's 37 points behind with three races to go.

David Reutimann: a HUGE shout out (and a lot of love) goes to Reuty for helping Harvick!! THANK YOU DAVID! Reutimann had a stout car, and it didn't matter who was his drafting partner, they quickly moved to the front. Good job Reuty!!

Juan Pablo Montoya: he was on Target today, being at the point for 17 laps. Although he hasn't won on an oval, he's proven to be strong on the superspeedways. He made his Cup debut at this speedway four years ago, and ran strong then. A win is coming if the team stays in the Chevy camp and with the ECR engine program.

Joey Logano: he was very strong, leading for five laps. He ran a smart, patient race, stayed out of trouble, and was rewarded with a fifth place finish.

Honorable Mention: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Brad Keselowski.


Jeff Fuller: he was the first start and parker. He drew the short stick at the start and parkers' meeting in the Todd Bodine Meeting Room. He ran a total of TWO LAPS before declaring himself done for the day and collecting NASCAR welfare.

Dave Blaney: despite securing sponsorship for this race, he was the second car to start and park. He obviously said, "TRICK OR TREAT" en route to parking the #36 12 laps into the race.


Jeff Burton/Dale Earnhardt Jr: they got tangled up in a wreck that ended Burton's day and affected Jr's day. A sub-Good to Jr for leading the most laps.

The Mini-Big One: this happened on the final lap. AJ Allmendinger got the worst of it, and with the possibility of RPM shuttering its operations altogether, it wasn't good for the Dinger.

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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- 2010 Tums Fast Relief 500

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is doing a rapid-fire The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, in honor of NASCAR's shortest track. Plenty of Martinsville Hot Dogs were consumed, washed down with lots of Coke. Enjoy!


Denny Hamlin: he won the race. Best car at the end. Cuts points lead to six in arrears. Popular win at M'ville.

Mark Martin: where did he come from? Great rally by the Old Man. Still very competitive.

Kevin Harvick: best career finish at the Big Paper Clip. Also gained some points going into Talladega. Great rally from 36th starting position!

Kyle Busch: another superb rally from deep in the field. Ran a smart race. Avoided brake issues. Was good on long runs.

Jimmie Johnson: always runs well at the Big Paper Clip. But he did have his points lead over Hamlin and Harvick cut.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: used sound strategy in staying out during a caution to get track position. Led at one point in the race, making Jr Nation very happy. Faded a bit at the end, but was still strong.

Jeff Burton: led the most laps and got the additional five bonus points.

Honorable Mention: Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski.


Greg Biffle: had all kinds of issues. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

Sam Hornish Jr: tete-a-tete with Scott Speed sent Regan Smith behind the wall when Smith was punted into the wall. It was a blatant punt of Speed. Hornish should have been parked for the rest of the race.

Jeff Burton: gotta put him in here because so many drivers were complaining that he was brake checking on restarts. NASCAR warned him on that. Later he and teammate Kevin Harvick had a brush-up on track. Should make for an interesting drivers' meeting at the RCR camp this week.


Tire issues: there were a multitude of drivers that cut tires in the last few laps of the race. The last run was the longest of the race, and it was nearly 100 degrees on the track.

That's it from Martinsville. See you all at Talladega!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- 2010 Bank of America 500

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is in the capital of NASCAR, Charlotte, for this week's serving of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, complete with Carolina-style ribs, plenty of corn on the cob and fried taters, and washed down with the beverage of your choice. Enjoy!


Jamie McMurray: as the race winner, he gets first billing. Great job by the 1 crew in getting him to the front, as he started WAY back in the pack. Did you see that final restart? McMurray was shot out of a cannon! I bet he was singing "Blue Bayou" to Kyle as he sped by the #18! He led 65 laps in getting his third win at the third different crown jewel track this season. (He also won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400.) Good job Jamie!

Kyle Busch: he led the most laps but McMurray sung his own version of the Linda Ronstadt hit "Blue Bayou" on the final restart. Then he had his hands full with Jimmie Johnson, but was able to hold him off for second.

Jimmie Johnson: this is the reason why he's Four-Time. He had a wicked loose car at the start of the race, spun out early and dropped way back in the pack, and spent the rest of the race playing catch up. And he very nearly did. Most other drivers would have finished in the 20s. If he does win the title this year, he can point to this race as the reason why. He gains another five points on Denny Hamlin and more than doubles his lead on Kevin Harvick, even though Harvick had a top 10 finish.

Denny Hamlin: for awhile, it looked like the Hamster was going to get his first win at Charlotte. He had a solid car that was in the top 5 for much of the race, and even when he started outside the top 5 on restarts, he was quickly in the top 5. But he's got to start getting wins and finishing ahead of Johnson if he's to win the title.

Matt Kenseth/Roush Fenway Racing: he led a contingent of Roushkateers in the top 12. Kenseth started 24th and slowly worked his way into the top 10. His car was the best and fastest in the last 50 laps of the race. It looked like he was on a rail, as he was passing other cars effortlessly. Greg Biffle was solid all race, had good pit stops, and finished right behind Kenseth. Props also to David Ragan for finishing in the top 10, in tenth. Carl Edwards brought up the rear in 12th, and even he had a solid race after falling backwards early. Props go to his crew chief Bob Osborne and the Quack Quew (crew) for battling back. Good job to the Roushkateers!

Joey Logano/Joe Gibbs Racing: in addition to Kyle Busch and Hamlin, I give JGR props for having all three of its drivers in the top 10 with Logano's seventh place finish. Logano ran a quiet race, but was there at the end. He kept his nose clean, stayed out of trouble, and ran a smart race. Good job to all the JGR drivers!

Honorable Mention: Kevin Harvick, David Reutimann, and Juan Pablo Montoya.


J.J. Yeley: he was the first start and parker of the night. He drew the short straw at the start and parkers' meeting in the Todd Bodine Meeting Room. Reportedly Dave Blaney told Yeley, "You drew the short stick. You lost. What's fair is fair."

Dale Earnhardt Jr: this was a prime opportunity for him to get a solid finish and prove that the 88 team is on the right track. But he finishes in 29th, three laps down. At least he passed Kurt Busch late in the race, as he was running in 30th for much of the second half of the race. The honorable thing for Jr to do is step out of the seat, and have Rick Hendrick put Aric Almirola in there and see what he can do. He's lost it, and once you lose it, you can't get it back. At the very least, he needs to have a heart to heart with Mr. Hendrick at the end of the season.

Kurt Busch: gotta put him here. The Blue Deuce crew swapped out EVERYTHING in the car but the engine, the decals, and the sponsor and NOTHING worked. They even swapped the kitchen sink at their shop, from what I've heard, and even THAT didn't work. You could have put David Pearson in his prime in that car and it still would have finished 30th. The Blue Deuce was THAT BAD. You can now officially kiss Kurt Busch's chances to win the title goodbye.


Kasey Kahne/Sam Hornish: Kahne got wickedly loose and Hornish was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got collected in Kahne's mess. It would have been very easy for Hornish to throw Kahne under the bus in the post accident interview afterwards but kudos to Hornish for not doing so. But you could hear the disappointment in Hornish's voice, more so at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he was trying to avoid Kahne. For Kahne, it was the icing on the cake, so to speak. He was battling a wickedly loose race car, and no matter what kind of adjustments he and the 9 crew tried to make, it got looser as the race went on. The accident was the end result.

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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

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

This week, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is California Dreamin' at Fontana (insert bad Mamas and Papas joke here) for this week's serving of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, with fish tacos (we're close enough to San Diego), salsa, and the toppings of your choice, washed down with Pepsi Max, of course! Enjoy!


Tony Stewart: he gets first billing as the race winner. Smoke pulled ahead of Clint Bowyer on the final restart and had enough juice to hold off Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson for his first win at Fontana. With the win, Smoke bolsters his chances of a third championship. He has matured into a solid leader and that has helped him immensely in his racing. Could he be the modern-day A.J. Foyt? (Smoke was a former pole-sitter at the Indy 500.)

Clint Bowyer: he had a stout car from the time it was unloaded until the checkered flag, and it looked like he was going to win his second Chase race of the season. But Stewart overtook him on that last restart. What DOESN'T help Bowyer is that Jimmie Johnson finished right behind him, and he was only able to gain five points on Johnson. Bowyer could win the rest of the Chase races and if Johnson keeps ripping off top 3 finishes, Bowyer won't win the title.

Jimmie Johnson: this guy keeps ripping off top 3 finish after top 3 finish. Maybe there was something to what Kevin Harvick said early in the season about JJ and the lucky horseshoe. (Perhaps JJ played Frontierville on Facebook earlier in the season and got the horseshoe that way...just a thought.) And with Jimmie's House aka Charlotte looming, don't expect things to change anytime soon.

Kasey Kahne: where have you been Kasey? Long time no see in this category! Although he didn't lead a lap (he got as high as second position), he hung around in the top 10 for pretty much the whole race.

Ryan Newman: he capped off a great day for Stewart-Haas Racing by finishing fifth. He started 14th and quickly worked his way into the top 10. Great way to rep Tornados (a frozen Mexican-style wrap made in the central California town of Dinuba) in its home state by finishing in the top 5! Newman seems to run his best when Tornados is on the hood: a win and a fifth place finish.

Kevin Harvick: he started 21st, then had to overcome a speeding penalty exiting pit road during a round of green flag pit stops to finish seventh. The penalty dropped him to 28th, the last car on the lead lap. He was about to get lapped when a caution came out. A sub-Bad to his crew for NOT helping him gain spots on pit road. He made up all those spots on the track.

Denny Hamlin: I had to include the Hamster in here because he started in the back of the pack due to a transmission change. He charged his way up the field, eventually finishing eighth. But when you have the leader ripping off top 3s, it's impossible to catch him.

Honorable Mention: Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, Joey Logano, Regan Smith.


Roush-Fenway Racing: it was a BAD day for them. Greg Biffle blows an engine and finishes 41st. Carl Edwards has ignition issues and finishes 34th. Then David Ragan, who was running solidly in the top 15 late in the race, triggers an accident that delivers a serious blow to Kurt Busch's title hopes. (Busch would finish 21st.) Matt Kenseth limped home in 30th, the last car on the lead lap and RFR's best finisher. Biffle's done, Edwards and Kenseth's title hopes are in serious jeopardy. They're THAT close to being done.


Issues: many of the Chasers had them. Biffle and Kyle Busch blew engines. Edwards had ignition issues. Kurt Busch was collected in an accident not of his doing. Harvick and Jeff Gordon had speeding penalties. Kenseth limped home in 30th. Jeff Burton finished 23rd and is pretty close to being done. Hamlin had to have a transmission changed and started at the rear of the field.

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

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly -- Price Chopper 400

This week, after a two-week absence due to moving into smaller, more cramped quarters, the Crappafoni Pictures crew is back at it with Toto in the land of Oz to bring you this week's version of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, complete with BBQ ribs, grilled corn, and all the rest of the fixin's. Enjoy!


Greg Biffle: as the race winner, he gets first billing. He was especially dominant in the second half of the race and he checked out with 50 laps to go. The race was for second place. He was that dominant. For awhile, I've been saying that Carl Edwards would be in the thick of the title hunt. After today, I substitute Biff for Edwards as the triumvirate that will fight it out for the title, along with Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.

Jimmie Johnson: he was mired in the middle of the field most of the race. It's a testament to the 48 crew that Johnson finished second when he easily could have finished 20th. They made the car better and better as the race went on. An added plus: he leads by three points over Denny Hamlin, and it's good to lead after the third race of the Chase, as four of the last six years, the champion has led after the third race of the Chase.

Kevin Harvick: he led 16 laps after starting mid-pack. Once again, the master of "where'd he come from?" strikes again en route to a third place finish. He also moves up two positions in the points standings, 30 behind Johnson. But at this point he needs WINS, not top 5 finishes. Top 5s won't cut it this year.

Tony Stewart: he led the most laps, but didn't have enough for the Biff's onslaught. Still, it was a sorely needed good run for Smoke, and it puts him in striking distance of Johnson.

Jeff Gordon: HE needed a good run, and got it. This sets him up nicely for Fontana next week. Now if he can only cash one or two wins in, he'd be in great shape!

Paul Menard: he led the most laps in one race, careerwise. The 98 team was strong when they unloaded, strong in qualifying, and strong in the race. He was able to make two tires work when he took two tires for track position late in the race. I have blasted him in the past NUMEROUS times, but today I'm giving him his props. He's earned his place in Cup. He'll be a winner at RCR next season.

Honorable Mention: Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, and Jamie McMurray.


Landon Cassill: he drew the short straw at this week's Start and Parkers' meeting in the Todd Bodine Meeting Room. According to NASCAR.COM, it was a "Rear Gear" issue. Let's face it: he PARKED IT. Who are we bullshitting here? We the People AREN'T STUPID. And if I'm wrong, I'll admit it.


Kasey Kahne: he was running pretty decently until he got loose and slapped the wall. Then as he was making his way around the track, he cut a left front tire and tore up the #9. Needless to say, his day was ruined.

Those are my picks for the week. Feel free to come in with yours!