Bristol ~ From Snow Squalls to Snow Angels
I bid you welcome gentle readers, and our always cordial “Hey there” to our assigned reader of all things NASCAR today. Alas, this has been one of those weeks that we all wish we didn’t have, but too often do. The lack of “me” forces me to offer you all a trip back with the irascible Lady in Black. What you’ll see reported here is the spring race from Bristol in 2006, and if the names are confusing or forgotten, . This race report ran originally on the pages of Insider Racing News on March 28, 2006.
day race fans. This is your raving reporter, the Lady in Black, coming to you
When the troops from Nextbest Cup assembled on Friday to earn their battle assignments, a cold rain mixed with snow drove them back into their tents and General Helton doled out assignments based on individual battle performances in the War of 2005. On the following day, they did manage to get in some practice drills before the next snow squalls arrived to cancel assignments for the reserve troops in the Busch League.
young stalwarts marched into their skirmish amidst weather conditions
Sunday morning didn’t bode much better for the elite troops as it snowed everywhere but in the Roach Motel. It appeared that the battle might be waged with tanks and jeeps equipped with snow chains and de-icers, but eventually the snow passed and the sun even endeavored to peek out from time to time. The festivities finally got under way when the folks in the stands were treated to an offering of the Star Spangled Banner by the multi-award winning group, Diamond Rio. Well done gentlemen; well done!
point, I’m going to remind everyone reading that this was
When the Boogity flag waved, it was Stewpot on the point flanked on the right by Greg Blissful. Those two got out clean, but behind them the marching formation was already crumbling as Jeffy’s Mini-me and Ready Sorenson made slight contact, sending Mini-me up to the wall. He slowed immediately with a cut right front Goodyear as the troops scattered behind him in evasive actions. It took the poor lad four laps to get to the bar and the attention of his pit bulls, as there were soldiers marching below him and blocking his retreat. While we’re speaking of his pit bulls, this week saw the return of chief pit bull, Cheat Knaus to the pits of Mini-me. While Knaus was serving court-martial time, that job was more than capably performed by Lt. Grubb, who was demoted for his efforts.
Out on the battlefield, Blissful had wrested the lead from Stewpot on lap 6 and the front of the marching order was content to remain in step until lap 14 when Brent Who turned a perfect pirouette off the front fender of Kevin Lapped, bringing out the first yellow flag of what would be 18 before the battle ended. (Hey, it’s Bristol Baby!) Few chose to hit the bar that early in the day and the One LAP UP (One Lucky Arsed PUP) was Mini-me. When the marching resumed on lap 20, it was Blissful leading Stewpot, Mutt Kenseth, Prince Edwards of Roush, Mark the Munchkin, Busch League Kid, Flyin’ Ryan and the Car with the Flames.
For a bit, things went according to plan, so much so that I even have a notation around lap 54 that says, “Calm for Bristol”, but that would change. The best viewing in that segment was watching the Blue Deuce slice through traffic until it was in second place. At lap 57, Blissful took the National Guard to the bar to replace a cut Goodyear, grab a cold one and got a speeding penalty for his trouble. Four laps later, it was the same song, different verse, for leader Busch League as he too hit the bar with a cut tire. Maybe leading wasn’t the thing to be doing about then.
Lap 73 brought us the second beer break of the day when Cow Patty spun in turn two allowing everyone to catch a Bud and some new Goodyears. The One LAP UP that time was awarded to David Stray, rookie driver of the Silver Bullet. They resumed marching in circles on lap 78 with Stewpot leading Mutt, Flyin’ Ryan, Kevin Havoc and Prince Edwards, but within two circles, it was Mutt out in front. On lap 83, it was a cut tire for Ken Shredder, but alas, no one chose to pause the battle for his misfortune, so he would resume the battle two laps out of step with the leaders.
At lap 93, it was yet another cut tire, this time for Chad Blunt in a car called Front Row, though it’s never been there. By now, you’ll be sensing that there could be a theme building with these tires. At lap 109, it was the same car turned Bluntly into the wall with an assist from Clint Bow Wow and the yellow waved another time. The leaders chose to hold their battle positions, but the soldiers from about the mid-point back decided that it was Miller Time for them. The One LAP UP went to the Blue Deuce and when they marched back into battle, it was Stewpot ahead of Mutt, Flameboy, Flyin’ Ryan and Havoc.
That lasted all of three laps when we watched one of those drive-time on the freeway chain reaction things. I confess, I have no clue who started it, but in some order, it was the Army of One into Ready Sorenson who in turn got into the Bud Stud who in turn booted Shrub. Behind all that, they were scattering like the earlier snowflakes to avoid the spinning mess and Sir Jeffery of Childress braked just a tad slower that Scoot Riggs, sending that unfortunate lad into the inside wall and then to the lounge where he would spend a large part of his afternoon. The One LAP UP that time went to Mikey the Mouth and they were back at it on lap 124.
Once again, a restart proved disastrous for Mini-me when he cut across the bow of Mutt and wound up hard into the SAFER barrier a second time. Behind that… and because of it, David Stray allowed his Silver Bullet to spin Sterling Silver’s septic system. (Oh, the inhumanity of being spun by one’s old ride). All that of course, brought the yellow back out immediately. The One LAP UP went to Texas Terry.
Lap 132 saw Stewpot, Mutt and Flameboy still in the lead, but with Blissful setting sail ahead of them, attempting to make up a lap the hard way… by earning it. For a while, Stewpot and Mutt had some fun swapping the point while Mini-me was having no fun as he made repeated trips to the bar, even picking up a penalty at one point for his pit bulls jumping the wall too quickly. (Where’s Grubb when you need him?)
rag #6 waved on lap 160 when a
laps later, the pylon showed Shrub at the point followed by Sterling Silver,
Mutt, Flameboy and Stewpot, but once again, Blissful positioned the National
Guard ahead of the troops and stayed there. Around lap 184, there was a lot of
bumping and banging going on between Havoc and Flyin’
Ryan, who seemed to be having their own private little war. It only took a
couple laps of that to produce the
Those repairs had to wait for about fifteen minutes, as the red flag of truce halted the battle so that the janitors could sweep up the mess. The One LAP UP award went to Texas Terry… again… and oh yes, Greg Blissful was back in step with the leaders without benefit of any phony little award. (That’s the way it used to be done, “Back in the Day”) I’m told that when the FOX networks cut away to the umpteenth commercial break of the day, Chris My-arse announced that they were taking the break, “With Kyle Busch as your winner.”
Note to Chris: Pretend that it’s football; the first team to kick a field goal is referred to as the “leader”, not “your winner.”
When the battle resumed on what was called lap 200, it was Mutt out ahead of Flameboy and Stewpot, but they only got to turn seven circles before another yellow rag was waving, this time for debris. (A piece of tape) The One LAP UP went to Cow Patty, making it 29 soldiers on the lead lap.
Note to whomever: Tape does not cut tires, nor is it a reason to wave a caution flag!
Okay, we’re going to fast-forward a bit here, in the interest of keeping you reading to the end.
· Caution #9 ~ Lap 218 ~ More debris ~ One LAP UP ~ Waffle
#10 ~ Lap 249 ~ Ready Sorenson spins Brent Who ~ One LAP UP ~
· Caution #11 ~ Lap 267 ~ Major mess involving about six cars and sending Jamie McCutey to the lounge for repairs ~ One LAP UP ~ Yay-Yay Jelly
· Caution #12 ~ Lap 287 ~ Jeff the Greenhorn spins the Candy Man ~ One LAP UP ~ Dave Blarney
On that restart (Lap 294) it was Stewpot leading Busch League, Mutt, Havoc and Flameboy, but it’s important to note here that Ken Shredder had been running with the leaders through the entire battle, but to that point hadn’t been able to pass them. Since he was two laps behind rather than one, he got no consideration for the One LAP UP award that went multiple times to slow cars, simply because they kept getting lapped. The Generals might want to review that in light of the fact that it’s getting ridiculous to offer that thing two and three times a day to the same cars. I’m happy to report here that by lap 309, Shredder had passed both Busch League and Stewpot to make up one of his laps in arrears.
· Caution #13 ~ Lap 338 ~ Brent Who spins into wall with assistance from Stewpot. The Army of One spun behind that action and Texas Terry got involved as well. Too bad, because that would have been his FOURTH One LAP UP of the day.
· Caution # 14 ~ Lap 348 ~ Another case of road rage as several spin including Jeremy Mayfail, Casey Miracle and Scoot Riggs. The major damage was sustained by Waffle in the Tide Ride, but I swear, I didn’t see him involved with the others. ~ One LAP UP ~ Clint Bow Wow
cut back to the action for just a bit here, as Shrub ever so gently loosened
the rear decking from the Big Brown Truck. Dale Swear-it drove it around with
the fiberglass decking waving in the breeze for several laps before it broke
free and sailed over the chain-link fence to land at the feet of a startled fan
walking back to his seat from the boys’ room. (Trust me; at
· Caution #15 ~ Lap 408 ~ Kevin Lapped cuts a tire and stops on track. Most take a Bud Break ~ One LAP UP ~ Denny Ramblin’
# 16 ~ Lap 415 ~ This is where the action began heating up when the Car with
the Flames rudely burned O.J., the “Other Junior”, shoving him out of the way
while several soldiers wrecked behind them in an effort to survive. Those
included Hurrikahne, Sir Jeffery of Childress, Rapid
Robby and Yay-Yay Jelly. The One LAP UP was not awarded, as it would have gone to
O.J., had he not been involved in the wreck causing the caution. (Like he
wanted to be) Now it gets “curiouser and curiouser” as
They resumed the battle on lap 420 with Mutt, Busch League and Havoc leading the troops. Fifteen laps later, there would be another break in the action when O.J. once more came abreast of Flameboy. This time, I’ll defend the Car with the Flames, as the young soldier was harassing the daylights out of him and doing it with a Chevrolet. Stewpot came to the rescue of Flameboy and punted the #1 hard into the inside wall bringing out the penultimate (50 cents for a big word) caution of the day. The One LAP UP that time went to Scotch and Soda Wimmer.
remiss if I didn’t add here that when O.J. brought his wrecked car back to his
chief pit bull, he got a well-deserved rookie scolding for messing with the
leaders while being lapped traffic. Unfortunately, someone with a microphone
was in the vicinity of what was obviously a very private conversation and chose
to air it for all
brought out the final beer break of the day when the Big Brown Truck shared
When they went back to war at lap 452, the pylon showed Mutt leading Busch League, Havoc, Flameboy and Stewpot. Three laps later, the Big Brown Truck spun all by himself in an effort to avoid contact with Jeremy Mayfail. Poor Swear-it was decidedly not having a great afternoon. Then, with about 20 laps to go, the Bounty Hunter and Prince Edwards passed Stewpot and four laps later Shrub and Flyin’ Ryan followed suit. Stewpot would eventually finish 12th after having led the majority of laps in the battle. I guess some days are like that.
With 10 laps to go, Busch League managed to close what had been a large gap between him and leader Mutt as Mutt tried unsuccessfully, lap after lap, to get around a very wide Brown Truck. Apparently, things in the Ford camp are not as rosy as they seem to be with the other manufacturers, as it wouldn’t have changed Swear-it’s position (last on the lead lap) one iota to let a member of the Ford team pass in the waning laps to race for the lead among the leaders.
As it was, with about five to go, Busch League punted Mutt up the track and passed him, bringing Havoc along as well. Mutt recovered to hold third position for the moment, but with only two laps left the Car with the Flames pulled the same trick, booting Mutt high and sliding beneath him for third place. Now, those of you that have been reading these reports for a while know that on occasion, when provoked, mild-mannered Mutt ducks into a phone booth and emerges as Mad Dog Kenseth.
Mad Dog only meant to rattle the cage of Flameboy, I’m sure, but when he tapped his bumper, he effectively extinguished the Flames for the day, sending the Rainbow car spinning from third place to a 21st place finish. After the race, Flameboy emerged from his losing effort without removing his helmet, giving him a marked resemblance to Neil Armstrong when he walked on the moon. A very apologetic Mutt extended a hand in friendship and tried to explain that he never meant to turn the Flames around. His apology was answered with a huge shove from Flameboy, who later explained on TV why it was fine for him to hit and pass Mutt but it was not OK for Mutt to do the same. (I think I heard something about four Championships and “respect”) It’s still gonna cost ya Jeff.
the track, Busch League was having the celebration of a lifetime as he spun
doughnuts for the crowd and then climbed from the car. Reminiscent of the
lovely weather of the weekend, he lay prone on the start/finish line and
created an imaginary snow angel, which I found to be quite clever. Some in the
stands obviously disagreed and hooted their displeasure, but I don’t think he
minded one bit. It was his fifth win at
in Victory Lane waving an American flag, he alit from the car to be alternately
hugged by Eva and then harassed… or interviewed… by Jeannie Zelasko.
(Baseball season will be here before you know it) Busch League described his 5th
Note to the TV audience: At some point during the race, I scribbled a note to myself that said those watching the race on TV might as well watch a rerun of American Idol. It was like one giant commercial, occasionally interrupted by small segments about cars spinning and/or hitting each other. Think about this; how many live restarts did you see throughout the race… three? By my count, there were eighteen at the track. *sigh*
exactly the way it was in snowy
And now that she’s done doing her thing, let’s have a wonderful Classic Country Closeout. This is a Grand Ole Opry presentation from 1956. Ah yes, 18 and single! Life was good in 1956. Please enjoy!
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!