tallafreakindega: you can’t stop the drama

(Left to right) Richard Brickhouse, winner of the first race at Talladega in 1969, congratulates Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 IRWIN Marathon Ford, after McMurray won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)Overall I think Talladega went down pretty much the same way it would have gone down had NASCAR not instituted the new rules, smaller restrictor plate and no bumping in the turns. Those guys were going to hold off until the end and then crap was going to hit the fan in the final laps. Because really, at Talladega if you’re 35th you’re still in it, it’s all about being there in the end and getting in a good line up to the front.

I wasn’t mad about the whole no touching each other in the corners rule because of the rule itself, but more anxious about the enforcement of that rule. As it is, Talladega is a race that I love but one that also makes me crazy with anxiety because I’m hoping that my driver doesn’t get caught up in the “big one.” I hold my breath during Talladega because you just never know.

So then you add in the fact that my driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., could get caught on some lame rule NASCAR cooked up an hour before the race starts, you’re just tacking on another layer of panic for me to deal with for the ENTIRE race.

Seeing those guys run in a big long line was actually kinda relaxing, I could breathe for a little while. I also thought it was a nice little F-you to NASCAR. I don’t know if everyone saw it that way but I did. It’s like they were saying “Fine, we’re not going to touch each other and make this race as boring as possible.” But again, the real action happens at the end, when it really matters, because who cares who’s leading on lap 20 when there are 188 laps.

Even with Dale Jr.’s charges to the front, it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s sad because he was so much better than 11th.

But, it was very, very awesome to see Jamie McMurray in Victory Lane. That guy needed that win, if it helps him get a ride that’s great. He definitely needs one, but I think it matters more for him on a personal level. And his shout out to his fans was soooo sweet. Loved that. And speaking of Jamie Mac fans, I have to give my own shout out to THE Jamie McMurray fan, Margaret, aka RivenSky on Twitter. She is the only Jamie McMurray fan I know, er that I talk to via Twitter, and she loves the Jamie and every race this year she’s been having a hard time (a feeling I can relate to!) so I knew that she was going to be over the freaking moon on Sunday.

And over the moon she was! You have to read her tweets from yesterday and today. I’m almost happier for her than I am for Jamie! She also writes for LOLdrivers, it’s hilarious, you should check it out.

Oh and since I’m already on the subject of Twitter I would like to cut & paste some tweets from Michael Waltrip (@mw55) and Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) after yesterday’s race.

mw55: So if drivers bitch about nascar ignore them. No better yet teLL em to grow up. We all signed up for it. Its not nascars fault. Wieners.
3:06 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter

dennyhamlin: @mw55 we signed up to drive our cars.. Not be told how to
3:10 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter in reply to mw55

mw55: RT @dennyhamlin: @mw55 we signed up to drive our cars.. Not be told how to,,, all sports must be officiated. Without rules there’s chaos.
3:15 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter

dennyhamlin: @mw55 so what did it prevent?? I wasn’t in a wreck.. But I knew what was coming.. Harder hits on straight because we aren’t able to push any
3:21 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter in reply to mw55

mw55: @dennyhamlin there isn’t a fix.It is what it is as the kids say these days. just look in the stands and the ratings and take it twice a year
3:30 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter in reply to dennyhamlin

dennyhamlin: @mw55 I agree there isn’t a full fix. but those people in the stands and watching tv aren’t very happy right now. Jus sayin. Golf this week?
3:34 PM Nov 1st from UberTwitter in reply to mw55

Soo now they’re going to go golfing. I wanna go! :)

But on a serious note, I loved reading this exchange between Mikey and Denny. It’s cool to see drivers debating a real racing issue in real time, and it’s interesting how you can tell which one is the younger driver and who the more experienced older driver is just from the text. Being one of the youngest people in my office there’s always a Michael Waltrip type telling me about the “rules” and I’m always the Denny Hamlin questioning each and every one of ‘em wishing I could just do what I was hired to do.


(Left to right) Chrissy Wallace, driver of the No. 08 Fuel-Doctor.com Chevrolet, Carla Wallace and Mike Wallace, driver of the No. 48 Rockingham Speedway Chevrolet, pose on the grid before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday in Talladega, Ala. Chrissy and Mike became the first father and daughter to compete in the same national series race. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Supercool! And Chrissy finished 13th, not bad at all considering it was Talladega. :)

(Left to right) Chrissy Wallace, driver of the No. 08 Fuel-Doctor.com Chevrolet, Carla Wallace and Mike Wallace, driver of the No. 48 Rockingham Speedway Chevrolet, pose on the grid before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday in Talladega, Ala. Chrissy and Mike became the first father and daughter to compete in the same national series race. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards and Subway's Jared Fogle dress as each other to celebrate Halloween at Hallowdega Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Stephen Arce/Action Sports Photography)

Even in a silly costume, Carl is still a cutie.

(Left to right) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards and Subway’s Jared Fogle dress as each other to celebrate Halloween at Hallowdega Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Stephen Arce/Action Sports Photography)

Crew chief Steve Letarte and driver Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) chat with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Lance McGrew (No. 88 AMP Energy

Crew chief Steve Letarte and driver Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) chat with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Lance McGrew (No. 88 AMP Energy “Get on the 88″/National Guard Chevrolet). (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a specially-painted No. 88 AMP Energy

If you look really, really, really close you can see people’s names. :)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a specially-painted No. 88 AMP Energy “Get on the 88″/National Guard Chevrolet on Nov. 1 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Crew members work on the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart, in the garage area after an incident on track that also claimed his teammate, Ryan Newman, in the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Crew members work on the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart, in the garage area after an incident on track that also claimed his teammate, Ryan Newman, in the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Center to right) Team owner Jack Roush and Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 IRWIN Marathon Ford, celebrate in McMurray's third career win in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Center to right) Team owner Jack Roush and Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 IRWIN Marathon Ford, celebrate in McMurray’s third career win in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday in Talladega, Ala. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

2 Comments

  1. November 3, 2009 at 11:46 AM ·

    nice take on the race Valli; love the Twitter conversation. I just started using Twitter during the actual races a few weeks ago and it really ads a whole new level to the race enjoyment. Following different teams and reporters makes it so much more fun. During the slow part of Dega; I spent more time looking at the laptop than I looked at the TV.

  2. Donnie
    November 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM ·

    I like all ur stories but this one tops!