(WOMR file photo)
When a race track has a brand new racing surface you expect the race speeds to be much higher than the old pavement, additionally, the turns were repaved with an additional five degrees of variable banking. You also expect the racing groove to be very narrow with not much passing or racing action because fresh asphalt creates more traction, gripe, but constricts the width of the actual racing groove.
The race speeds were, in fact, so much faster Sunday in the Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway. However, the racing groove was a little wider than everyone expected. Nevertheless, there was an area just above the middle of the track that was very slippery, causing several cars to attempt to knock the fences down!
Translation: the racing was nasty wild! Track-record 14-caution wild? So wild that the record for most cautions at a 2012 Cup race would also be broken?
“Lot of wild stuff,” Matt Kenseth, who moved from 11th to ninth in points because of his victory at Kansas, said.
“Crazy,” said second-place Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing, who crossed the finish line .495 seconds behind Roush Fenway Racing’s Kenseth.
“People impatient,” third-place Paul Menard said. “A lot of restarts.”
“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Penke Racing driver Brad Keselowski, who finished eighth but kept his seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff standings, said. “I’m ready to go home and have a couple of beers. It’s just been a long day and, you know, everybody has been asking all season long where the cautions have been, well, they flew to Kansas and they’ve been hanging out here because there was caution after caution and it seemed like every wreck that happened today happened right in front of me.”
“It just wasn’t much fun,” Bowyer, one of the few who finished with a relatively clean car, said. “But it is what it is. I don’t know the hell was going on behind us. The kept wrecking. It seemed like every 20 laps we would have a caution. That wasn’t much fun.”
While most of the wrecks Sunday were of the “just hard racing” variety, there was one that was premeditated. It involved, the somewhat overrated darling of the media, Danica Patrick.
Patrick and Landon Cassill were running in close quarter near the mid-point of the race. But suddenly, Patrick got all over Cassill’s rear bumper, didn’t get out of the accelerator, and sent him sideways. However, the GoDaddy.com front-girl, Patrick, suffered the worse damage! As a results of her ill-fated maneuver, she slid to the bottom of the track and hooked around on the apron. That sent her car slamming head-on into the wall.
“I have just been really frustrated with the #83 (Cassill),” she said. “He slammed into me on the front straight for no other reason than his radio communication ‘She was in the way’. I’ve always played fair. If it’s one time, I can imagine frustration. But it’s been pretty consistent with him getting in to me. So at some point in time, I have to stand up for myself, or everybody’s going to do it. So, the bummer is that this is my Texas car. We were having a good run, we were making the car better. And, I’m out of the race and he’s not.” If she wouldn’t have punted Cassill, and in the end taken herself out of the race, she would still have her Texas car! Does this sound like whining to you?
(Sorry about your little car, Smoke!)
Cassill probably got a good laugh out of that!
On his two-way radio, he had this to say about Patrick: “Rule No. 1 in stock car racing is learn how to wreck someone without wrecking yourself.”
With all the cars spinning and slamming into the newly reconfigured retaining barriers, it is a miracle that any of the cars could be driven back onto the haulers. By now all of the haulers have left the track heading back to Charlotte. Kansas is now nothing more than “dust in the wind”!
Check out the unofficial results for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!