I bid you welcome gentle readers, to another spin in the time machine, for those of you that simply cannot get enough of that irascible Lady in Black… all three of you. A warm welcome as always goes to our assigned NASCAR reader, be you human or computer. Last week we put you through more Country Music than you ever heard in one place unless you’ve been to the Grand Ol’ Opry. This week, we’re taking to the road, in several different ways. We hope you enjoy the trip!
This race was run at what was then called Infineon Raceway, on June 25, 2006, just one short decade ago. For the benefit of those with short memories or those new to the ways of the Lady in Black, the actual race stats, including boring but real names, can be found here, courtesy of racing-reference.info. Please enjoy!
Good day race fans. This is your raving reporter, the
Lady in Black, coming to you today from Inferior Raceway in
past that and two short of 18. It seems to me that 16 would put us halfway to
The kids from the motor pool and the reserve troops
from the Busch series were not with us this weekend, having scheduled their own
private battles back in the city whose name means beer. On Friday, it was
Johnny Be Good winning for the second time in a row. Johnny Be VERY Good! Then,
on Saturday, it was Paul Meany, bumping Yay-Yay Jelly out of the way for the
win, much to the dismay of Kevin Havoc, who had similarly been bumped out of
the way by Jelly. They had a warm-up battle here in
That brings us to Sunday and the war here on the left
coast. This battlefield is a long way from the ones we’re used to in this war,
in that the troops do not march in circles. Well, they do eventually get back
to where they started, but only through a convoluted series of twists and
turns. Stock car road racing is actually a throwback to the days when men
running shine in the hills of
The festivities got underway with the singing of our National Anthem by Chris Isaak and Kenny Dale Johnson. These two gentlemen offered us a two-part harmony version of the Star Spangled Banner, all the while keeping their right hands on their hearts. It was one of the best and most sincere offerings it’s been my pleasure to hear. Now folks, that’s what I’m talking about! Gentlemen, thank you so much! The Anthem was followed by a flyover of four L-39 Patriot Jets and the command to battle stations was given by some group called Cheech Marin and the Dodge Boys. (They weren’t as pleasing to the ear as Chris and Kenny)
When the Boogity flag waved,
it was the Blue Deuce on the point flanked by Jamie McCutey,
but that only lasted until the first turn, where McCutey
spun into the grass, causing those behind to take evasive action. Dale
Swear-it’s evasive action took him directly into the rear bumper of Bobby’s
Cheerios Bowl, spinning him to the opposite side of the track from McCutey. After that, they made it all the way to turn eight
before Ken Shredder turned Little Debbie sideways and was summarily erased from
the race by hits from Sterling Silver and Tom “Baby” Huey, both of whom would
join him in the lounge for the afternoon. Also involved in the skirmish, to
varying degrees, were Casey Miracle,
After twelve minutes of janitorial services and hauling carcasses (automotive, not human) away, they were rolling again and maybe a half-dozen of the boys from the back room hit the bar for a quickie. The idea, on this type of battlefield, is to quench your thirst as seldom as possible, which for this gang is inside out, much like everything else about doing battle on the road. When they finally resumed the battle on lap 4, it was Busch League ahead of Hurrikahne, Flyin’ Ryan, Havoc, Bouffant Boris, Mark the Munchkin, Captain Nemo and Stewpot. On lap nine, Shrub slapped the wall right after he bounced off the rear bumper of Good Fellows’ Tide ride.
By lap 15, things had settled into a rhythm as the Blue Deuce continued to lead, followed by Flyin’ Ryan, Havoc and Road Racer Robby in a 4-car breakaway from the rest. Out back though, the Car with the Flames was picking off opponents one at a time. In another five laps, Flameboy was up to sixth and Road Racer Robby had moved around Havoc for third place. Two laps later, that stalwart threatened Flyin’ Ryan for second place, but slid up to the wall, barely maintaining third place over Havoc.
At lap 26, Good Fellows hit the bar for what seemed an extremely early Bud break, but within a few laps, others began to realize they were thirsty as well. One by one, they took turns at the bar, but two, Stewpot and Ready Sorenson, were invited back for drinking too fast. They’d all been served by lap 35 and it was then Havoc at the point, followed by Flyin’ Ryan, the Blue Deuce, Greg Blissful and Munchkin.
Four laps later, as Flyin’ Ryan took the lead from Havoc, Yay-Yay Jelly spun on a different part of the course and Denny Ramblin’ limped to the bar with a flat right front Goodyear. One of those last two things brought out the yellow flag and a couple of the warriors, Good Fellows and Bud Stud, stopped in for a cold Bud. The One LAP UP (One Lucky Arsed PUP) was awarded to Cow Patty.
The battle resumed on lap 42, with Flyin’ Ryan ahead of Havoc, Blue Deuce, Blissful and Flameboy. On the next lap, Ready Sorenson spun in turn seven with a little help from Jamie McCutey (That lad had a busy afternoon) and Good Fellows was back to the bar another time with a flat right rear Goodyear. On lap 44, it was Scat Pruett spinning, with a lot of help from the Candy Man. Lap 45 saw McCutey doing pirouettes again, this time courtesy of Pajama Jones, who must have thought that if he hit Jack Daniels hard enough, some would splash his way. The yellow waved for the third time then, but not for the spin. Good Fellows had stalled right at the swinging doors of the bar and had to be assisted to his pit bulls. I’ve no record of a One LAP UP awarded on that caution, but it’s likely that there was no one running a lap down at the time. They were all in the lounge.
It was back into battle on lap 48, with Flyin’ Ryan leading the Car with the Flames, Blue Deuce, Havoc and Blissful, but shortly the lead would change, with Flameboy taking charge of the battle. Around lap 50, Stewpot got very loose and side-slapped Bouffant Boris, who was none too happy about it, as Road Racer Robby passed both of them. Almost immediately, Stewpot began smoking in the area of his left front fender. As a matter of fact, it was exactly where the fender, now rubbing the tire, had struck Boris.
On lap 60, almost everyone passed up a chance for Miller Time, when Captain Nemo scattered the barrier tires in turn eleven, bringing out the fourth yellow rag on the day. Texas Terry was the only one I saw come to the bar and Ready Sorenson gratefully accepted the One LAP UP award. No sooner had they restarted on lap 61 than Scat Pruett spun another time, this time after tagging the rear bumper of Bud Stud. Elsewhere on the course, Jeffy’s Mini-me also spun, with a firm assist from Bouffant Boris.
On lap 62, Bud Stud decided to grab a sample of the sponsor’s product and hit the bar, soon to be followed by Shrub. Two laps later, Road Racer Robby was enjoying a cold Coors Light after contact with Bouffant Boris knocked his front end out of alignment, and Ready Sorenson stopped by to keep him company. During the next few laps, more of the soldiers enjoyed a round of Miller Lite and one, Dale Swear-it spun while leaving the bar. By lap 70, everyone had quenched his thirst and in the lead, for the first time in a long time, was that one lone soldier that had hit the bar on lap 60, Texas Terry.
At lap 75, Road Racer Robby limped off the course with a blown left front Goodyear and obvious fender damage. The earlier contact with Bouffant Boris had resulted in a broken tie-rod end and Robby would spend the remainder of the afternoon in the lounge, no doubt sipping Jim Beam. They continued to work their way around the snake-like course and with 25 laps to go, Texas Terry was still leading the Car with the Flames, Stewpot, Flyin’ Ryan, Blissful, Blue Deuce, Bouffant Boris, Candy Man, Shrub and Hurrikahne. Two laps later, the lead was usurped (50 cents for a big word) by the Car with the Flames. With 20 to go, Stewpot’s rolling hardware store began to smoke and the smoke worsened with each ensuing lap as he fell back through the ranks.
On lap 98, Captain Nemo took another excursion, spinning off course and the yellow waved for the fifth time. (Nope, I have no idea why a single-car spin would bring out a full-course caution. It doesn’t work that way as a rule) No one near the battlefront even considered a beer break that late in the day, but the Bud Stud was One LAP UP. On the restart, Stewpot’s engine refused to rise to the occasion and he began falling back through the field like a stone sinking in a water glass.
On the very next lap, it was Scat Pruett around yet again, this time with help from Havoc, while over in turn two, Bounty Hunter and Jeremy Mayfail were both in the spin cycle. The yellow waved another time, allowing Scoot Riggs a One LAP UP award and they were back into battle on lap 103 with Flameboy ahead of Texas Terry, Flyin’ Ryan, Blissful and the Blue Deuce.
With only six laps to go, we watched one of those drive-time on the freeway chain reaction wrecks that seemed to start when the Bud Stud got into Yay-Yay Jelly, causing Cow Patty to get into Captain Nemo. (Another lad not having a good day) Also involved were Dale Swear-it, Ready Sorenson and Bounty Hunter. The seventh caution of the day soon became the second Red Flag of Truce in the battle. While they were parked for eight more minutes, some Good Samaritan visited the cars, giving each soldier a ration of fresh cold water. Water? This Bunch? In the heart of Wine Country? Oh, that’s just not right!
Even before the restart on lap 108, the black flag of doom was waving for Havoc, as the Generals in the tower deemed that he had lost his hood pins, which were probably imbedded somewhere in Pruett’s car. The order of marchers up front remained the same, though with one lap to go, Hurrikahne hit the bar with a flat Goodyear. On the final circuit, Flyin’ Ryan managed to get by Texas Terry for second place and somewhere out back, Pruett the Cue Ball ended his day in a tire barrier. The final reading on the pylon was Car with the Flames, Flyin’ Ryan, Texas Terry, Blissful, Blue Deuce, Prince Edwards of Roush, Sir Jeffery of Childress, Candy Man, Bouffant Boris and Mini-me.
A win couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time
for Flameboy, who on Saturday announced at a croquet match, that he and
girlfriend Ingrid Vanderbosch are engaged to be
married, making her either Mrs. Flameboy or Flamegirl…not sure how that works. Out on the track, the
winner spun doughnuts while yelling over the radio to his pit bulls, “Man, you
guys are GOOD!” After an extremely smoky burnout, he continued to
For this old race fan, what was awesome was seeing Texas Terry come home in third place. When he was interviewed by Dr. Dick Berggren, Terry’s comment was, “So cool,” but then, he IS the Iceman. I’m gonna miss him.
Note to General Helton:
Sir, when this regiment goes into battle at Watkins
Glen in August, would you PLEASE remind them in the drivers’ meeting that when
on a road course, anything even remotely resembling dirt, grass, gravel, sand,
kitty litter or stacked tires is to be avoided at all cost! This race was more
than a little reminiscent of a race at
And that’s exactly the way it was at
God bless our troops!
And that cute little guy signals that it’s time for our Classic Country Closeout and to keep up with today’s unconventionality, the first of our “Road songs” will be “King of the Road” but not by Roger Miller, who sold millions of records with it. This version is sung by NASCAR’s own King of the Road, Richard Petty!
If we’re doing Road Songs, they simply have to include this one, mostly because I love looking at the singer! This is “The Ballad of Thunder Road”, written and sung by Robert Mitchum. *SIGH*
There are thousands of songs about roads, you know. It’s so hard to choose, but here’s one from Alabama that’s long been a favorite. This one is called “Dixie Road.”
No collection of road songs would be complete without John Denver singing “Country Roads.” (Awesome video with this one)
Finally, years ago I heard this song played as background for a long forgotten TV show, but I never forgot the song. It has been recorded by several different artists, but this is the haunting version I heard and had to find that night. This is Selah, with a beautiful rendition of “God Bless the Broken Road.” Messages just don’t get any sweeter than this one.
Be well gentle readers, and remember to keep smiling. It looks so good on you!