Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rusty Reckons: Goin Nuts

NASCAR is going nuts, and Rusty just might go with them. Not only is this weekend when the infield at the race getting crazier than Mardi Gras, but in case you missed it, there's been a lot of talk about nuts lately in the garage.

[Brace yourself for a lot of bad puns, this week]

Glue, Lug Nuts Create Stick Situation in the Pits

This year, NASCAR's required longer studs on the wheels, and this has thrown a little wrinkle into the competition. The only way to change four tires in under 15 seconds, is by doing it in rhythm. The tire changers on NASCAR teams have the precision and timing with an air gun as Earl Scruggs does with a banjo. The longer wheel studs had thrown this timing off. Imagine, Scruggs trying to pick his banjo with a pitch fork. So, the pit crews are going nuts...

Now, come later today, ole Rusty just might be going nuts. One of the most exciting races of the year is this weekend. The Aaron's 499 in Talladega. Shew boy! Talladega is the biggest rack on the circuit at over 2.6 miles long, and you know what that means . . . restrictor plates and running in the pack. At Daytona (the other plate track) it's about handling, moving through the air, blah blah blah. At 'Dega it ain't nuttin but pure unadulterated speed. They repaved down there in Alabama a few years back, and it's smooth as a baby's bottom, now. The cars literally scream through the corner.

The trick to running and finishing well at 'Dega comes down to 3 things, aero-package, horsepower, and luck. To win in Alabama, you've gotta get your car close down to the ground to force as much air up and over the car to increase the speed. This is harder with the new COT. Second, you've gotta have a lot of horses under the hood. The cars will run wide open; no braking, no down shifting, no nuttin. HAMMER DOWN!!! Lastly, you've gotta have luck. The cars will run in huge packs, and they wiggle around like Rusty in church. If someone messes up, the carnage can be huge. A lot of times it just comes down to being in the right place at the right time, pure and simple.

So, what's all this mean? Who is going to run well? Rusty's got no idea. Some of the regulars will be at the front; the shrub, Jimmie, Jeff, Tony. Other guys who seem to excel at the plate tracks will be up there too, guys like Mikey and June-bug. But in the end, it's really anybody's race. Whoever wins, though, I can guarantee it'll be exciting and a nail biter till the end.

JR Prediction

Well, I'm sure once again you've been anxious to read what ole Rusty the Jr apologist has to say about the latest Junior controversy. Again, if you missed it; at Phoenix, Casey Mears got into Junior, and Junior wrecked. After the finish of the race, Junior turned Mears around as a little payback. Mears then came into the pits and bumped Junior a few times. That was the end of it . . . well, until NASCAR put them on probation. Lucky for both of them probation doesn't really mean anything in NASCAR. It just means they are being watched a little closer. So, what do I think about all that? It's racing, and it's awesome. Junior's not one to get real angry and "act out". He's got a passion for racing, but doesn't always show it in a negative way. I think he's due a slip up from time to time. And you know what? A little passion could be good. They need to get going. Talladega's one of his best tracks. So, maybe with a good track and a little fire in his belly, he'll begin to turn it around. I'm not going to make a prediction, but . . .

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