Now that the checkered flag has fallen on the Bojangles’ Southern 500 from Darlington it is time to breakdown the action we just watched. Here in our recap we’ll go over some key statistics, observations from the race, and review how Greg and Mike’s picks fared. More in depth analysis of the picks will be made on the Wednesday podcast.
The win was Jimmie Johnson’s 1st of the season and 56th of his career
It is Johnson’s 3rd victory in 14 races at Darlington
The win was Hendrick Motorpsorts’ 200th in the Sprint Cup Series
Only Petty Enterprises (268) has more wins
Greg Biffle leads the points by 2 over Matt Kenseth
That was Greg Biffle’s 2nd pole of 2012 and 11th career pole
Second place finisher Denny Hamlin got his sixth top 10 finish in seven races at Darlington
It was also his sixth top 10 finish for the 2012 season for Hamlin
Tony Stewart’s third place finish was his 11th top ten finish in 20 races at Darlington
Right off the bat visiting Friday night’s Nationwide Series race first, I chalk up the Joey Logano/Elliott Sadler/Denny Hamlin accident as hard racing at the end of a race. Could Logano had eased up on Sadler to not push him into Hamlin, of course he could have. Hindsight is always 20/20, but as Logano said in his post-race interview (in victory lane) he did it the last restart with great success (not sure why I just wrote that like Borat said it). Sadler gets on the gas quicker or doesn’t spin his tires, we’re talking about him in victory lane, it was that close. Sadler has a right to be mad because he not only lost the win but valuable points. I just see that as a racing deal versus anything more than that.
They still run the Camping World Truck Series? Seems like forever since the last race. Next week is the next one, for those looking at the schedule.
To the Cup race, Jimmie Johnson won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway over Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex, Jr. Johnson overcame fuel mileage questions, challenges by Hamlin, Stewart, and Busch, and cautions at the end of the race. He led a race high 134 laps, which netted him the extra bonus points for leading the most. Hamlin, Busch, Truex, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Landon Cassill each lead at one point during the race.
Jeff Gordon’s miserable year continued after contact with Denny Hamlin resulted in his car having massive problems after that. Multiple left side tires going flat related him to going into the garage and ruining what was a solid top ten performance for him. Will he ever turn it around? It almost seems like it’s time to forget 2012 and move on to 2013 for the four time champion.
Pleasant treat for me to listen to the MRN broadcast on my way home from an outing. Great to hear Barney Hall’s iconic voice call a race, that never gets old. I wish he would read books on tape, I would totally buy all of them.
If at least six cars are going to park after 50 laps anyway, why do we need 43 car fields? I’d rather see a field of 37 cars run full out than 43 cars where six park. I’m not sure who picked 43 cars as being the field size for Sprint Cup Series but that should be changed ASAP.
Still crazy we went 172 laps before the first caution. I know I’ve been harping on it, but it’s just so weird that all of a sudden a switched flipped and there’s no more accidents happening.
Classy move by BK Racing by giving Travis Kvapil a ride this weekend in the #73 car. They put David Reutimann in his normal car (#93) but allowed Kvapil to still race. Had this been any other team, they probably wouldn’t have extended that much of a courtesy. Further interesting is their pick in numbers which seems to be around ones ending in 3. Last #73 ran in Sprint Cup was Mike Wallace in 1998, before that Phil Barkdoll ran that all the time while sponsored by X-1R.
I enjoyed the extended in car of Jimmie Johnson turning on and off his car with 58 laps to go. Not sure if that was meant as sarcasm or not, as it was mildly interesting(soothing) to hear him do that.
Danica watch! She finished in 31st place, 6 laps down.
Based on Matt Kenseth’s interview this weekend we might have been looking too much into the press release that mentioned a new number and sponsor on Monday. Or that was his way of deflecting it so he wouldn’t have to answer.
Oddly I enjoy the side by side coverage more than regular coverage, less Waltrips to hear.
I personally love that almost every car out there at the end of the race has a Darlington stripe.
Is Ford Fusion supposed to be on Carl Edwards’ car or does he not have sponsorship? I keep thinking it’s he doesn’t have sponsorship, but no one seems to acknowledge this point.
Funny to hear the head of marketing for Bojangles’ mention this race sponsorship was the biggest thing they done in racing to date. I guess we’re totally overlooking that whole sponsoring of Derrike Cope in 1993.
After this race Kurt Busch is going to petition races be decreased by 100 miles. Last week and this week he was up near the front when problems came up (him spinning) that ruin his day right before the end. Just like last week once his day was ruined he made sure to blow up without blowing up, so to speak. Talladega he drove the wrong way on the track and pit road to get repairs done. Here at Darlington sitting on pit road he revved his engine so much it hit the limiter on it while sitting on pit road. Stay classy Kurt, stay classy. (more below)
Can Jeff Gordon rally back at a track he’s had much success? Contact with Denny Hamlin just after the halfway point ruined a solid top ten performance for Gordon. After the contact he made it to the garage and it was game over. After repairs Gordon limped home 29 laps down in 35 place. His other accomplishment was being around Reed Sorenson when he spun.
Can Regan Smith duplicate the magic from last year? Spun on lap 306 and had damage just before that. No magic for Regan Smith this year. Enter in the chatter of Kurt Busch, supposedly for a second car, and Smith might be feeling the pressure in the #78 Chevrolet. All said and done he came home in the 14th place.
Will we see another first time winner? Negative, Jimmie Johnson pulled home the victory and that was certainly not a first time winner. The closest potential first time winner was Aric Almirola in 19th place, then there was David Gilliland in 25th place, and Landon Cassill right behind him. Our only hope for a first time winner, AJ Allmendinger, came home in 33rd place. Don’t hold your breath for a first time winner in 2012 at this rate.
Will tempers flare again during the race or after the race? Not like how we saw last year when Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch had post-race fireworks. The biggest flare up was Kurt Busch’s mini-tantrum he had after spinning but that was contained to himself. Post-race there was some excitement as the gas man for Ryan Newman’s team came down to have a chat with Busch over his spin that took out Newman. Unfortunately to the viewing audience (and fortunate to people who actually like Busch and his well-being) he was stopped short of Busch. At one point it seemed the gas man shoved a NASCAR official, which NASCAR is brushing off as he tripped. It did appear to be a heat of the moment thing and no ill-will towards the official. Had he gotten to Busch on the other hand, there would have been much ill-will.
Can the Hamilton-Means team make the race? Mike Skinner was able to put the #52 Toyota into the field in the 35th starting position. It was a great moral victory for this team as they were not one of the four drivers who missed the race. In the end Skinner lasted 21 laps and fell out because of electrical. There’s always next time for them to run the whole race. I figured with a team like this, who kept saying they were running and didn’t, they’ll take some races to build up a nest egg then race all out.
What is a Peanut Patch Boiled Peanut? From their site: “Peanut Patch is a canned boiled peanut product which is produced by McCall Farms, the same company which produces the Margaret Holmes brand of canned vegetables. Boiled peanuts have a very loyal following across the country, particularly in the southeastern United States.” So there you go, yum…I think?
How will Danica Patrick fare in her second Sprint Cup start? Did not take Danica long to earn her Darlington stripe in practice, and in the Cup race was a non-factor coming home in 31st place 6 laps down. Her claim to fame was the number of times Fox would provide updates on how she was running and getting an A+ mark from Michael Waltrip for (at the time) being three laps down. I was disappointed MRN was on a Danica watch as well, but nowhere close to the same extent as Fox.
How will Tony Stewart top this week’s post-race interview? Stewart came home third and actually seemed quite content with that performance. He was as high as second behind Johnson near the end but Hamlin got past him. Nothing like last week’s interview performance, although I was secretly hoping that if he won, Smoke would pull out a bucket of fried chicken and mow through it in victory lane.
Dare I ask about Hendrick’s 200th career win? Jimmie Johnson came home first, giving Hendrick Motorsports their 200th career Sprint Cup Series victory. That’s just amazing to me to see that statistic on paper, because you always hear about Richard Petty’s 200 career wins. Granted you have double (or in their case now quadruple) the odds to win, still impressive to do it. Drivers with wins for them include Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jimmie Johnson. Now that’s a list of NASCAR heroes if I’ve seen one.
At what point will I get fed up with the TV coverage? I got home at 9:15 and was fed up with the coverage at 9:29. My downfall was listening to MRN on the radio on my drive home then switching to Fox. Pushed over the edge when Michael Waltrip gushed about Danica being three laps down and putting in an A+ performance out there. So, if she’s on the lead lap would that be an A++++ performance? Just want clarification on that one. Luckily there was a hockey game to bounce over to and MRN to listen to on the computer. That’s the way to do it folks.
Winner picks for the Bojangles’ Southern 500:
Kyle Busch – 4th Denny Hamlin – 2nd
Greg Biffle – 12th Kasey Kahne – 8th
Brad Keselowski – 15th Ryan Newman – 23rd
Start ‘N’ Park picks for the Bojangles’ Southern 500:
Josh Wise – 43rd Mike Skinner – 41st
Champion’s trophy winner: Josh Wise – 43rd, 19 laps, out because of “vibration”
|1||2||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools||Chevrolet||368||$319,786||Running||134||48|
|2||8||11||Denny Hamlin||Sport Clips||Toyota||368||$238,656||Running||56||43|
|3||17||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot / Mobil 1||Chevrolet||368||$209,415||Running||0||41|
|5||6||56||Martin Truex Jr||NAPA Auto Parts||Toyota||368||$152,554||Running||25||40|
|7||7||99||Carl Edwards||FORD ECO BOOST||Ford||368||$145,906||Running||0||37|
|8||3||5||Kasey Kahne||Rockwell Tools||Chevrolet||368||$108,790||Running||33||37|
|10||21||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot||Toyota||368||$104,715||Running||0||34|
|11||26||15||Clint Bowyer||5-Hour Energy Drink||Toyota||368||$120,969||Running||0||33|
|13||14||27||Paul Menard||Menards / PPG||Chevrolet||368||$100,705||Running||0||31|
|14||9||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row / CSX Play It Safe||Chevrolet||368||$117,488||Running||0||30|
|15||15||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite||Dodge||368||$124,725||Running||0||29|
|17||24||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew||Chevrolet||368||$96,930||Running||1||28|
|19||13||43||Aric Almirola||Gravely Mower||Ford||368||$124,416||Running||0||25|
|20||18||55||Mark Martin||Aaron’s Dream Machine||Toyota||368||$87,605||Running||0||24|
|21||25||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Services Inc.||Chevrolet||368||$110,063||Running||0||23|
|24||27||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target||Chevrolet||366||$113,696||Running||0||20|
|25||36||38||David Gilliland||A & W All American Food||Ford||366||$94,913||Running||0||19|
|26||20||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King / Dr. Pepper||Toyota||366||$108,575||Running||1||19|
|27||34||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||365||$78,255||Running||0||17|
|28||37||34||David Ragan||Peanut Patch-Margaret Holmes||Ford||364||$90,152||Running||0||16|
|29||22||47||Bobby Labonte||Scott Products||Toyota||364||$88,680||Running||0||15|
|32||33||73||Travis Kvapil||Burger King / Dr. Pepper||Toyota||362||$76,805||Running||0||0|
|34||11||1||Jamie McMurray||Bass Pro Shops – Tracker Boats||Chevrolet||345||$107,813||Running||0||10|
|35||12||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive To End Hunger||Chevrolet||339||$124,466||Running||0||9|
|36||41||93||David Reutimann||Burger King / Dr. Pepper||Toyota||314||$84,380||Running||0||8|
|37||43||49||J.J. Yeley||America Israel Racing||Toyota||132||$75,915||Clutch||0||7|
|38||39||74||Cole Whitt||Turn One Racing||Chevrolet||35||$75,682||Vibration||0||0|
|39||32||30||David Stremme||Inception Motorsports||Toyota||32||$72,225||Overheating||0||5|
|40||40||87||Joe Nemechek||AM-FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||Toyota||27||$72,050||Power Steering||0||0|
|42||29||79||Scott Speed||Team Kyle||Ford||20||$71,780||Overheating||0||2|
|43||30||26||Josh Wise||MDS Transport||Ford||19||$72,139||Vibration||0||1|