Two races and two bad wrecks so far, what will Talladega throw at us today?
I didn't know Brandon had won the race until I got home from work and the replay of the race was on, so I got to see the last few laps I'd missed earlier. Considering I've been telling you all for months now that you needed to keep your eyes on Brandon McReynolds, you can imagine the happy dance that went on in my living room. Brandon should have won the season opener ARCA race at Daytona, and ran out of gas on the last lap. Friday, he and the Turner Motorsports/Win-Tron Racing team made no mistakes and he was right where he needed to be at the end.
Yesterday the Nationwide cars took to the superspeedway with many of the Cup regulars who love the big track also in a car. The Cup regulars were up front for most of the race, with Kyle Busch leading almost every lap I was able to see. Danica Patrick showed her temper, yet again, and finished furthest back of the JR Motorsports entries, which included 4th place Cole Whitt and Dale Jr who finished in 5th. Dale Jr was also up front for a good part of the race. NASCAR is apparently "speaking with" Danica about her "frustrations" with her best friend, Sam Hornish Jr.
As I posted in the thread title, we've had a couple of really scary wrecks already this weekend. In the ARCA race, Mike Affarano was on a Midway ride when his car rolled 6 times and everyone held their breath. He emerged from the totalled car and walked to the waiting ambulance. When the crews cleared the debris the engine of the car was completely freed from the engine compartment, yet imbedded in the hood of the car.
In the Nationwide Race yesterday, Eric McClure did not walk away, but was airlifted to hospital. The wreck started and Eric became involved, getting turned into the infield area and slamming into the safer barrier. He was alert and awake heading to hospital, but has injuries to his side.
Today the cars will be faster, but the drivers are the top of their field. Hopefully, when we see the big one, which we will, it will not result in injuries. Jeff Gordon has the pole, and almost everyone is calling for Hendrick Motorsports to get their 200th win today. It rained at the track earlier, so track drying is underway and the race start has been pushed back to 2:05pm ET. Of course, not everyone is calling for an HMS win today, as there are definitely other favorites, including Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and yes, even Michael Waltrip.
Dale Jr would like nothing better than a win today, but a change in focus may help him do just that. He really wants to take over the points lead. Crew Chief, Steve Letarte said today in an interview that the team, as a whole, simply want to get the 200th win over with, so they can move on. I'm sure he feels the same way about getting a win for Jr. I've said before that I believe once Jr gets that elusive win he will continue to win, and win a lot more. So, with that said, I am picking Jr. today. My dark horse? Paul Menard. He is showing the kind of driver he really is, now that he has a quality team to race with.
So there you have it. Again, congratulations to Brandon McReynolds - a win 20 years after his dad did exactly the same with Davey Allison at Talladega. In the meantime, let's hope we get a good race today.