Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Few Fontana Notes

So the Spring Fontana race is in the history books. And other than Kevin Harvick's charge at the end and some mild concern about rain shortening the event, the whole thing was a bit of a snooze fest.

But even though I might have dozed off during portions of the broadcast, I did pay attention well enough to observe a few things. So here are my Fontana notes. Now on to Vegas!

In the category of "It's Probably Too Early to Say This, But I Will Anyway" - what in the heck happened to Scott Speed during the off season? The Red Bull racer was darn impressive at Daytona and he ran great in Cali as well. Looks like he's going to have a much better year than 2009.

Luckiest Dude on the Planet - When the world is your oyster, every single race can turn into a pearl. And every event at Fontana swung Jimmie Johnson's way (must be that golden horseshoe). Of course, he still had to outdrive a hard-charging Kevin Harvick at the finish. However, Harvick tapped the wall and JJ cruised on to a win. Must be nice to be so darn lucky.

Speaking of Harvick - Richard Childress Racing is back. After a lackluster 2009, Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer are showing well and racing up front. Both Harvick and Burton had the race all but won at different times. And it's great to see these teams this competitive so early in the season. Harvick and Burton will be in victory lane before too long - they just need some of Jimmie's good fortune to rub off on them.

Empty stands
- Even though the broadcasters on FOX didn't mention it, the pictures tell the tale. Does anyone in California like NASCAR enough to actually buy a race ticket? I know things are tough all over, but come on! All of those empty sections on the front stretch were borderline embarrassing and each empty seat flies in the face of that old cinematic adage "If you build it, they will come." Maybe NASCAR should rethink Fontana's two-race deal.

Darrell Waltrip, Climatologist - Waltrip's theory regarding how race cars keep the rain away is so off-the-wall, there could actually be something to it. He said he believes that when cars go round and round the track at high speeds, they create some sort of "vortex" that actually wards off inclimate weather. Waltrip's hypothesis just might be believable if both Daytona AND Fontana hadn't been rained out last year.



  1. Any other owner would have replaced the CC on the 24 car long before now, when the 48 and 5 run as good as they do, and the 24 gets worse during the race, something is wrong, and JG hasn't forgot how to drive. What about the 88 you ask? Replace the driver LOL

  2. I don' think the other drivers want to be rubbed with the golden horse shoe considering where its been. From what I've reading anyway.

  3. Congrats to Jimmy Johnson especially considering how he went at Daytona (and is this revival at Fontana a statistical omen for the rest of the season)

    Live "in the race" chat archive available here


  4. I think that the issue with the seating might be more weather related than anything will be interesting to see what the fall race stands look like.

  5. Fontana's always a snooze-fest, like Atlanta, Michigan, Pocono, anywhere where the drivers can stretch things out. No bump-drafting or wall-striping (not like Darlington, at least) or constant action like at Bristol. And the stands are always emptiest at Fontana. It's like college football games at the University of Miami--too many distractions. JJ did get tossed a golden horseshoe, but only Harvick thought it landed in the No. 48's tailpipe. (Harvick's still probably sore about losting the first Gatorade duel to JJ.) True, races won by luck (or fuel strategy) aren't as fulfilling as real, cool-moves down to the finish racin'. But JJ's luck wasn't just being in the right place when Ma Nature loosed 'er skirts. As Monte quoted Seneca over at Nascar This Week today: "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." That gave the day to the No. 48 team.