"Right Sides Only: Watkins Glen"
Posted by Gene Haddock on August 4, 2010
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After a wet and wild weekend in Pocono, the racers stay up yonder way when they shake it down at Watkins Glen. If Pocono's backstretch seemed dangerous, get a load of the crash barriers at the Glen. Piles of old tires are considered state of art impact absorption at this road course. Same thing we used on the go-kart tracks decades ago.
The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska has confirmed, via his onboard 'black box', that Elliott Sadler's impact at Pocono is now the hardest ever recorded in NASCAR. Higher than Kyle Petty's 80 Gs recorded in 2003 at Bristol. They didn't release the exact number of G-forces to the public, but they stated that Sadler's is now the highest. Petty hit a concrete wall, driver's side first. Sadler plowed into a steel guard rail, with a dirt berm behind it, head on. More than 80 Gs?
Born to Run
Dale Earnhardt Jr makes his 500th start in a NASCAR sanctioned event this Sunday. He'll be making start 385 in Cup , and he has 115 in the NW series. Dale Jr actually has more NASCAR wins than Sr did at the same age, when you combine Cup and NW victories. Kurt Busch makes his 350th career start here at the Glen, also. Busch has four more Cup wins, and one more championship, in one less season than Jr has.
Born in the USA
NASCAR started as, and has always been a "Southern" sport. Right? Not so fast, a look at the entry list for Watkins Glen reveals only nine drivers raised in the South out of the 46 entered in the race. Three Virginians lead the way, Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, and Jeff Burton. Two more from Florida, David Reutimann and Joe Nemechek. Although, I wouldn't consider either one Southern, as their families moved down here "from off".
Other Southerners include, Arkansas' Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte of Texas, David Ragan from Georgia, and North Carolina's Dale Earnhardt Jr. I won't look it up, but I'd venture a guess that North and South Carolina are one, two in Cup wins, and they now have one full time driver between them! Alabama is probably high on that win list also, and they have no drivers on the entry list.
Racing in the Street
The two road courses on the Cup schedule always bring out the so-called road racing aces. This week we have Ron Fellows, the best of these aces here at the Glen, in TBR's #36. No start and park this week, I'm sure. PJ Jones, on the other hand, probably will S & P the #07 for RGM. Max Papis in the Germain #13, and Patrick Carpentier in the #26 are two other fine ringers entered this week.
Glimpses from the Glen
Looking for help on your fantasy team? Jimmie Johnson has not won here. Twice already this year he has won on tracks that he had not previously.
Tony Stewart is riding a six race streak of finishing 1st or 2nd at the Glen.
Richard Petty had 11 straight top-2 finishes at Richmond back in the early 1970s.
Four winners here have rolled off from 13th spot at the start. Tied for second most after the 9 winners that sat on the pole.
Alabama's own, Bo Bice will sing the National Anthem, and give a concert prior to Sunday's race. Then, it's back to the State Fair circuit, fo Bo, fo sho.
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