Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Bump Drafting at Lowe's Motor Speedway; The Price of Levigating

Coke 600 up top view

It's the longest race of the year, and track president Humpy Wheeler promised that it would be exciting.

Humpy Wheeler part ?

My vote, if it counts, says it was.

Chris on Tower

I mean a lot of people, including probably 80 percent of the writers in the press box, would say there were too many cautions or the drivers were driving too rough or the track was too fast.

Press Box

What? Too Fast? Too Rough? What is this, NASCAR Speed Park, with the metal bumpers around the cars and the no bumping signs on the bumpers?

Coke 600 5

If it had went green all the way we'd be complaining about how boring it was. So I'm not. I liked it.

Start Finish

Each and every of the 400 times they crossed the start/finish line in this 600 mile race I followed to see what was next. I didn't lull off into a trance that 43 NASCAR engines can sometimes produce under long green runs.

Darkness Falls

And when darkness fell things truely got interesting. It was close racing and side by side just like Humpy said it would be.

Green Green Green

But this is the guy I kind of feel sorry for. He was probably one tired guy on Monday. He waved the green flag 23 times, the yellow flag 22 times, the red flag once, a few black flags, and the white and the checkered flag at the end.

The good news is, with all the cautions there were fewer lap cars for most of the race saving him some effort with the 'move it on over' ,blue and yellow flag.

Humpy Wheeler

So after 22 cautions and 103 laps under the yellow, the first points race on the newly levigated Lowe's motor Speedway wrapped up. Finally. The winner on this new surface....Jimmie Johnson, again. Or is that again, again?

and the winner is...

Actually the real winner is all the fans. Even the ones who showered JJ with Budweiser.

I'm not sure if Humpy was happy about the Lowe's car winning at Lowe's Motor Speedway(for the second day in a row, mind you, since Kyle Bush won the Busch race in the Lowe's sponsored car on Saturday!) or just perplexed about the demolition derby.

Humpy unhappy
He did say today that they were going to do some more work on the track to address the issues. I say leave it alone. Make the drivers work to win. Jimmie Johnson said it took him 200 laps to figure it out. See, there's one guy that likes it.

Did I mention that I thought it was a great race?

1 comment:

Don Ingle said...

Great pics from the Coke 600. That's a great vantage point from high atop Lowes Motor Speedway. I was sitting down in turn 2 enjoying the wreck-fest from the Diamond Tower. Still can't believe JJ came back to win.

Don Ingle
WRAL-TV
Photographer