(WOMR file photo)
As has been the case for the last four years, when I have arrived at the Phoenix International Raceway for the fall race, the warm Arizona weather takes a dip on the thermometer. However, the racing last weekend did not follow the thermometer. In fact, the racing was so hot that it ignited Jeff Gordon on fire, and those flames spread to the Clint Bowyer crew!
I feel fortunate that I really got a two-fer. I bought NASCAR weekend tickets, and additionally, I got tickets to see a NASCAR fight!
The race was pretty mellow until “Mr. Five-Time”, Jimmie Johnson, the points leader going into the Phoenix race, melted a tire bead from excessive brake heat, lost a front right tire, and pancaked into the turn 4 wall hard on lap 234. Johnson ended up finishing 32nd, lost the points lead to Brad Keselowski, who now has a 20 point lead over Johnson going into the final race at Homestead. All “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski has to do is finish 15th or better, and there is absolutely nothing Johnson can do to regain the points lead.
I went to a NASCAR race and a fight broke out!
With just a few laps to go, Jeff Gordon was limping around the track with a tire going down. Because of the tire going down, and his much slower speed, Gordon was black flagged by NASCAR, signalling him to bring the car into the pits. However, “Mr. Four-Time”, Jeff Gordon, waited for Clint Bowyer, who had made contact with Gordon a few laps earlier that caused the tire to go flat on the #24. Once Bowyer had made his way to turn#3,where “Mr. Four-Time” lay in waiting, Gordon attacked Bowyer’s car spearing it. That caused Bowyer to spin, impact the outside crash wall, collecting Joey Logano and Aric Almirola, as well. Luckily,“Bad Brad” went by the mess on the bottom of the track, unscathed.
When Gordon got out of his car back in the garage area, some of the crewmen from the #15 and #24 teams got in to a fist-throwing short brawl. Bowyer stopped his car on pit road, not seeing any of his crew members, he ran to the #24 hauler to open up the can of “specially prepared whoop ass” for Gordon and his team.
In time, calm was ultimately restored with the help of the NASCAR security, and some of Maricopa County’s finest. After peace was brought to the garage area. it was announced, by NASCAR, that both drivers and crew chiefs were called to THE HAULER after the race.
That red flag, and the associated cleanup, was almost 15 minutes in duration.
Just prior to the red flag, Kevin Harvick was the leader, and was about to take the white flag, signifying one more lap to go in the race. Had NASCAR actually waved the white flag, followed by the yellow flag for the wreckage that was happening behind Harvick, then the race would have been official. However, NASCAR, after reviewing film had determined that the white flag had not been displayed.
Harvick’s car owner, Richard Childress, protested to NASCAR that Harvick had taken the white flag before the yellow came out for the caution. However, replays/video showed that the yellow was out before the Harvick took the white flag at the start/finish line.
The concluding destruction derby
The race was restarted for the green-white-checked run. Harvick came off turn 4 heading to the white flag when Danica Patrick spun around behind the leaders. NASCAR did not throw the yellow flag, all the while, letting the cars race the final lap. Patrick was able to get the car to the bottom of the front stretch, and was limping the her crippled car back to the start/finish line. However, fluid from her car was leaking and littering the track. Because of Patrick’s leaky car, both Harvick, as well, as the 2nd place car, Denny Hamlin, slid a bit coming off turn 4. Nevertheless, Harvick gathered it up enough to won the race!
Many of cars in the top 10 were not so lucky. Spinning in the fluid was Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, and Mark Martin. All of the a fore mentioned drivers getting collected up in the mess. “Blazingly Bad “ Brad Keselowski also was hit, causing some damage to the side of the car, but he was able to drive thru the carnage to finish 6th.
So how was your Veteran’s Day weekend? Mine was absolutely fantastic!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!