Martin Truex Jr. starts on the Pole for the Bud Shootout
Last night I watched the repeat airing of the Budweiser Shootout Selection Show, with Kenny Wallace. Kenny was a little subdued, at least for Kenny, but the show was still a lot of fun. At the time I got home Kyle Busch had the #2 starting position and the rest of the drivers who had so far chosen their Bud bottles were scattered throughout the field.
Ryan Newman enlisted the help of Kenny Wallace to choose (Ryan hasn't had much luck in his choices in the past) and Kenny chose starting position #13, exactly halfway through the field of 25.
Today, all the fun of the selection process is done and Martin Truex Jr. has the pole position. Now it's time to race!! It's Daytona, baby, and speed is a huge factor here. Teams will do most anything to get those precious few miles per hour extra, and always have.
In case you missed it, the 48 car of Jimmie Johnson, with Crew Chief, Chad Knaus had some "problems" on Friday. The car failed inspection. It was found to have an illegal C-post, and the part was confiscated, but no penalties were levied....yet. This is nothing new for Chad Knaus, who has been given the nickname "Cheatin' Chad" by many NASCAR fans. A replacement part was flown in from Charlotte, and the team continued preparations. However, John Darby commented that "Suspensions are not out of the realm of possibility". The team was allowed to fix the car and it is unlikely that any penalties will be levied until after the Daytona 500. Interesting enough, Ken Howes, vice president of competition for Hendrick Motorsports, seemed a little surprised to find himself defending one of their teams so early in the year. He recovered, however, when asked if the change was a deliberate attempt for advantage, and said "that's a difficult way to put it. You work within the templates the best way you think. Obviously you're trying to do a better job than the next guy." The way I read that, yes, it was a deliberate attempt for advantage.
Also, in the last shootout practice session on Friday, a whole bunch of cars got wrecked. Tony Stewart was following Kurt Busch (in his new ride, the 51 car) and when Kurt checked up just the tiniest bit, Tony got into his rear bumper and turned him. That turn took out Tony, Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and himself. Tony manned up and accepted full responsibility because he was the guy pushing. He and his crew decided to fix his car. Some of the others went to backup cars.
Will Kurt or anyone else be looking for payback today?
Now practice is done and the race is on. Cheer, jeer, scream or shout. Yell. Swear (with asterisks, of course) or cry. This is the place to do it all.