Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jimmie Johnson three-peat tops highlights list of 2008 NASCAR Cup Series Season.

As I sit here reading some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship week news coming out of New York that all leads up to the banquet on Friday night live on ESPN Classic, yeah who thought that up anyway, first putting it in New York and second televising it on ESPN Classic, does everyone have ESPN Classic, I bet, NO.

Anyway, over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking over what in my opinion was a good 2008 Cup Series season despite a spit verdict with this new Car of Tomorrow at all racetracks, a unique and at times, safe and yet, a complete nightmare of a car, yeah that works right…. however in most ways, what a good season it was. I would sum up the 2008 season highlights with something for just about everyone.

How about one unique car and a good race, the Daytona 500 to start with? In some ways the COT does play host to some good racing after all and one race this season that was good was the Daytona 500, what a great way to start off the season, a race that always seems to go right down to the checkered flag and this time, it was a unlikely pairing battle between the JGR Toyota’s, that were on the bottom vs. two Penske Racing Dodge’s on the top, who knew that Kurt Busch would pushed his teammate Ryan Newman’s to his first Daytona 500 victory, let along who knew Newman would win this race? What a good victory for Ryan Newman and I can’t think of a nicer guy to win this wild one. (Read Daytona 500 Article…)

Thinking back towards Las Vegas, this one will go down in history as NASCAR getting really tough on COT penalties, I will never forget watching Carl Edwards win the Las Vegas 400 over second place Dale Earnhardt Jr. (I was hoping for Junior to win), and afterwards seeing the picture of him doing a backflip, while at the same time seeing the oil lip cover off which resulted in the second of what would be numorious penalties throughout the season and the start of the docked 150 driver/owner points, and in this case, the loss of 10 bonus points for the chase which didn’t make a huge difference, but made a statement.

The nightmare at the Atlanta 500 Spring race, what a combination NASCAR fans saw, junk tires that turned even the best cars into sliding nightmares, Carl Edwards blowing an engine while leading, Kyle Busch winning his first race with JGR and Toyota’s first Cup Series victory and Tony Stewart bashing Goodyear for their selected tire for the race, that about sums it up doesn’t it, now let’s forget about it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, because no words can possibly describe Michael McDowell’s wreck at Texas, what a hit which was taking by Papke - Associated Press.

Father’s day 2008 at Michigan Speedway will be remembered to as this…

“The 2008 season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been huge, it’s been Juniors best start to a season in his Cup Series career so far which includes Dale Jr. winning the first two events right out of the gate – The Budweiser Shootout and the first Gatorade Duel race, along with a 9th place finish at Daytona, a second at Las Vegas, a total of 7 Top 5’s and 11 top 10’s leading into Sunday’s Michigan 400, but you know, Sunday was just that race that ended with the headline saying “Dale Jr. wins in dramatic-fashion at Michigan” and those words are priceless for JR Nation including my father (on father’s day) and I who watched the race together… perfect. Neither one of us needed a seat in the closing laps for this one, what a victory.” – Me (Brian Vermette)

…following the June 15th race weekend. (Read More…)

No, the Brickyard 400 wasn’t a highlight of the season, however Kansas was, not for Jimmie Johnson winning the race, but for the award Carl Edwards won, best video game move on the racetrack of the year.

What Regan Smith, Tony Stewart at Talladega, did NASCAR really get the call at the end of the race correct? Belive it or not, there were two calls at the end of this race, first who won and second, where to place second…first I understand NASCAR’s position on the yellow line rule and why Tony Stewart was awarded the victory, a driver can’t go below to yellow line to advance their position, ok fine, I wish they did this better, but the fact is Tony won this race, however, placing Regan Smith back in 18th was the wrong call, he should have been second period. You know this race will be remembered for not only the finish, but also for Carl Edwards with his spotter creating a giant wreck that took out two of his teammates and several more drivers and it was the race that cost Edwards a shot at the championship.

However by far, there were three major events this season that will ring out for years to come in NASCAR depending up who your favorite driver is in NASCAR, if its Dale Jr., Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson, then you are in luck, the first is what is called a two-part incident taken place at the Spring race and the fall race at Richmond International Speedway, yeah, you know this by now.

First at the spring race at Richmond, Kyle Busch taking out or spinning out Dale Earnhardt Jr. while leading, that set off Dale Jr. fans (JR Nation) and started the bad boy imagine of Kyle Busch, if Busch wasn’t known before, he was and is now, fans couldn’t get past this. (Read More…)

Fast forward to Richmond in the fall, the last race to the chase and Dale Jr. gets into turn 1 hard, spinning out Kyle Busch, sending him into the outside and then inside wall, nice touch, but I still believe that Dale Jr. didn’t hit him on purpose, but still cool to see.

And Jimmie Johnson three-peat (The 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion), what a perfect way to end the season, just one thing, I am not predicting a four in a row for Johnson, however that would be a first and it’s something to think about, but I wonder who will contend for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Championship next year, how about who will win the 2009 Daytona 500? February is coming.