August 8, 2009

Nationwide officials take a holiday

Perhaps the Nationwide officials left the track early on Saturday to beat the traffic.

Late in the Zippo 200, Robby Gordon tried to run Joey Logano into the inside of the frontstretch wall. No harm, no foul, but when they went into turn one, Gordon turned into Logano's No. 20 car. Gordon came out on the short end of that contact by cutting his tire and NASCAR did nothing about that contact. O.k., perhaps they felt he had penalized himself for his own stupidity.

Apparently he lost a lap while repairing the car that he himself had destroyed. Back on track, Gordon reportedly ran into Logano again and NASCAR did not take action. That wasn't on camera, so we only have Logano's word for it—so it’s hard to fault NASCAR completely.

Immediately on the restart—under green—Gordon rammed Logano in the bus stop chicane and made a pass on the No. 20. Again, NASCAR did not take action.

In the next turn, he allowed Logano to get to his outside so he could run him off course in precisely the same spot in which Jason Leffler had such a scary accident in Friday's practice. No only did NASCAR fail to take action again (during the fourth incident), but they gave Gordon a "Free Pass" for the incident he had caused—despite the fact that they have a rule stating a car that is involved in the caution cannot benefit from it.

One has to wonder who was officiating this race—if anyone.

Standing outside the infield care center, Logano told reporters "you can't fix stupid; it's for life." He was speaking about Gordon, but the same comment could apply to whoever was calling this race in the tower.

N'Wide: Ambrose wins Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose made a bold move on Kyle Busch late in the Zippo 200 and won at Watkins Glen.

Our View Ambrose was clearly the better driver, but Busch was able to hold him at bay for quite a few laps. It was reminiscent of the Infineon Cup race and what Kasey Kahne did to Tony Stewart.

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Watkins Glen pit stalls

Jayski has posted the pit stall selections from the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen.

Our View There are only two stalls with openings in front of them, but this is a long pit road, so the others are not bad. Jimmie Johnson selected the last pit leaving pit road and David Stremme has pit No. 38 at the end of an "island" of six stalls at pit entry.

Road Kill

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Said spins in Watkins Glen practice 2

At the 15 minute mark of the Saturday morning practice session, Boris Said wheel-hopped off the course in turn 10. He got stranded in the pea gravel.

Our View Even the best drivers can push too hard. There is no visible damage, but the team will need to look closely at the car to see if the suspension is damaged.

Road Kill

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N'Wide: Harvick wins Watkins Glen pole

Kevin Harvick is the surprise winner of the pole for the Nationwide Watkins Glen Zippo 200 with a lap of 121.998 mph. He and Marcos Ambrose beat the old track record.

Our View Harvick chased down and passed Greg Biffle during his qualification session in the unique format used on Nationwide road courses. That had to slow him down a little, and he still set fast time. That is impressive.

On the other hand, Ambrose did not take as many laps and he might have been able to better his time. The race should be competitive.

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IRL: Patrick is too big for USF1

The American owned and run US Formula 1 team has several drivers on their radar screen, but Danica Patrick is not one of them, according to

Our View A lot of people are saying to us ‘are you interested in Danica Patrick?’ and my reply is in some respects, Danica is too big for us now,” US F1 boss Peter Windsor said.

Patrick is certainly a hot commodity, but she needs to announce where she will run next year or risk getting distracted by all this noise.

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